Similarities and dissimilarities, synchronisms and diachronisms in the Holocene vegetation history of the Balearic Islands and Sicily

Abstract

In some continental and island sites in the western Mediterranean basin, the Holocene vegetation and climate dynamics seem to show the same patterns in time and space. Nevertheless, different synchronous scenarios have been proposed from other south European, North African and Near Eastern pollen records from around the Mediterranean basin. Striking similarities and synchronisms have been found between Sicily and the Balearic Islands. These islands, although under different bioclimatic influences, show similarities in the main trends of vegetation and climate dynamics during the Post-glacial. Lago di Pergusa is the only natural inland lake in Sicily and because of its geographical location, has a good potential sensitivity to the climatic changes of the Mediterranean basin. Likewise, coastal sediments from Minorca and Majorca, the Balearic Islands, have similar peculiarities. The present-day environmental situation, now that most of the natural vegetation in these islands has disappeared, has been brought about either by a climatic trend towards increasing aridity or an increase in human activities. It seems clear that prehistoric human people alone could not have caused all the environmental changes recorded in the last millennia in both places.

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Correspondence to Ramon Pérez-Obiol.

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Pérez-Obiol, R., Sadori, L. Similarities and dissimilarities, synchronisms and diachronisms in the Holocene vegetation history of the Balearic Islands and Sicily. Veget Hist Archaeobot 16, 259–265 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00334-006-0038-x

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Keywords

  • Palynology
  • Holocene
  • South-western
  • Mediterranean region
  • Climate change
  • Human impact