Advertisement

Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 121–136 | Cite as

Temporal cultural landscape dynamics in a marginal upland area: agricultural expansions and contractions inferred from palynological evidence at Yttra Berg, southern Sweden

  • Eva Sköld
  • Per Lagerås
  • Björn E. Berglund
Original Article

Abstract

Agrarian history and local cultural landscape dynamics have been documented through pollen analysis of a peat core within the hamlet of Yttra Berg, which is situated in an upland area of southwest Sweden. The sequence covers the last 5,000 years, from Neolithic to modern time. Wood pasturing started at 2000 b.c., followed by grazing and small-scale cultivation with 500 year cycles from 650 b.c., and permanent fields of agriculture from a.d. 1150. The area was abandoned during the period a.d. 1350–1550. Three cycles of succession related to land-use have been identified for the period 650 b.c. to a.d. 1550. Correlation with frequent clearance cairns in the area is discussed. Recessions of agriculture/settlement during the late Middle Ages and late modern time are documented. Pollen data indicate increased landscape and plant diversity since the Neolithic, closely linked to openness of the agrarian landscape. These results are important for landscape restoration.

Keywords

Shifting cultivation Clearance cairns Wood pasture Heath expansion Biodiversity Landscape diversity 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This paper is a synthesis of Eva Sköld′s Master thesis in Quaternary Geology at Lund University. Per Lagerås and Björn Berglund have acted as supervisors. We are grateful for financial support from the County Board of Halland. Pär Connelid, social geographer, introduced us to the hamlet Yttra Berg and has kindly provided the map presented in Fig. 3. We are grateful to Leif Björkman who has been helpful with field work and some pollen identifications and to Thomas Persson for pollen diagram preparations, both at the Department of Geology.

References

  1. Aaby B (1986) Palaeoecological studies of mires. In: Berglund BE (ed) Handbook of Holocene palaeoecology and palaeohydrology. Wiley, Chichester, pp 145–164Google Scholar
  2. Aaby B, Berglund BE (1986) Characterization of peat and lake deposits. In: Berglund BE (ed) Handbook of Holocene palaeoecology and palaeohydrology. Wiley, Chichester, pp 231–246Google Scholar
  3. Aaby B, Digerfeldt G (1986) Sampling techniques for lakes and bogs. In: Berglund BE (ed) Handbook of Holocene palaeoecology and palaeohydrology. Wiley, Chichester, pp 181–194Google Scholar
  4. Berglund BE (1991) The cultural landscape during 6000 years in southern Sweden: the Ystad Project. Ecol Bull (Copenhagen) 41:454–455Google Scholar
  5. Berglund BE, Ralska-Jasiewiczowa M (1986) Pollen analysis and pollen diagrams. In: Berglund BE (ed) Handbook of Holocene palaeoecology and palaeohydrology. Wiley, Chichester, pp 455–484Google Scholar
  6. Berglund BE, Lagerås P, Regnéll J (2002) Odlingslandskapets historia i Sydsverige: en pollenanalytisk syntes. In: Berglund BE, Börjesson K (eds) Markens minnen: landskap och odlingshistoria på Småländska höglandet under 6000 år (in Swedish). Riksantikvarieämbetet, Stockholm, pp 153–174Google Scholar
  7. Berglund BE, Gaillard M-J, Björkman L, Persson T (2008) Long-term changes in floristic diversity in southern Sweden: palynological richness, vegetation dynamics and land-use. Veget Hist Archaeobot 17:573–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bernes C (ed) (1994) Biological diversity in Sweden (Monitor 14). Naturvårdsverket, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  9. Birks HJB, Line JM (1992) The use of rarefaction analysis for estimating palynological richness from Quaternary pollen-analytic data. Holocene 2:1–10Google Scholar
  10. Birks HJB, Line JM, Persson T (1988) Quantitative estimations of human impact on cultural landscape development. In: Birks HH, Birks HJB, Kaland PE, Moe D (eds) The cultural landscape: past, present and future. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 229–240Google Scholar
  11. Björkman L (1996) The Late Holocene history of beech Fagus sylvatica and Norway spruce Picea abies at stand-scale in southern Sweden. Lundqua Thesis 39, LundGoogle Scholar
  12. Bradshaw RHW (1988) Spatially-precise studies of forest dynamics. In: Huntley B, Webb T III (eds) Vegetation history. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 725–751Google Scholar
  13. Bradshaw RHW (1991) Spatial scale in the pollen record. In: Harris RH, Thomas KD (eds) Modelling ecological change. Institute of Archaeology, University College, London, pp 41–52Google Scholar
  14. Bradshaw RHW (2008) Detecting human impact in the pollen record using data-model comparison. Veget Hist Archaeobot 17:597–603CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bradshaw RHW, Lindbladh M (2005) Regional spread and standscale establishment of Fagus sylvatica and Picea abies in Scandinavia. Ecology 86:1679–1686CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Broström A (2002) Estimating source area of pollen and pollen productivity in the cultural landscape of southern Sweden: developing a palynological tool for quantifying past plant cover. Lundqua Thesis 46, LundGoogle Scholar
  17. Broström A, Nielsen B, Gaillard M-J, Hjelle K, Mazier F, Binney H, Bunting J, Fyfe R, Meltsov V, Poska A, Räsänen S, Soepboer W, Von Stedingk H, Suutari H, Sugita S (2008) Pollen productivity estimates of key European plant taxa for quantitative reconstruction of past vegetation: a review. Veget Hist Archaeobot 17:461–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Connelid P, Mascher C, Weiler E (1993) Röstorp: ett västsvenskt röjningsröseområde i skogsmark (Arkeologi i Sverige, Ny följd 2). Riksantikvarieämbetet, Stockholm, pp 15–38Google Scholar
  19. Dearing J (1986) Core correlation and total sediment influx. In: Berglund BE (ed) Handbook of Holocene palaeoecology and palaeohydrology. Wiley, Chichester, pp 247–270Google Scholar
  20. Emanuelsson U (2005) Ohävd–en nödvändig hävd. In: Bunthe C (ed) Arkeologi och naturvetenskap (in Swedish). Gyllenstiernska Krapperupstiftelsen, Nyhamnsläge, pp 111–128Google Scholar
  21. Erdtman G, Berglund BE, Praglowski J (1961) An introduction to a Scandinavian pollen flora. Almqvist och Wiksell, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  22. Fægri K, Iversen J (1989) Textbook of pollen analysis, 4th edn by Iversen J, Kaland PE, Krzywinski K. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  23. Fredén C (ed) (1995) Geology. National atlas of Sweden, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  24. Gaillard M-J, Sugita S, Bunting JM, Middleton R, Broström A, Caseldine C, Giesecke T, Hellman SEV, Hicks S, Hjelle K, Langdon C, Nielsen A-B, Poska A, Von Stedingk H, Veski S, POLLANDCAL members (2008) The use of modelling and simulation approach in reconstructing past landscapes from fossil pollen data: a review and results from the POLLANDCAL network. Veget Hist Archaeobot 17:419–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gren L (1989) Det småländska höglandets röjningsröseområden. Arkeologi i Sverige 1986. Rikantikvarieämbetet, Stockholm, pp 73–95Google Scholar
  26. Grimm E (1987) Coniss: a FORTRAN 77 program for stratigraphical constrained cluster analysis by the method of incremental sum of squares. Comput Geosci 13:13–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Grimm E (1991) Tilia 1.12, Tilia-graph 1.18. Illinois State Museum, Research and Collection Center, Springfield, IllinoisGoogle Scholar
  28. Helmfrid S (1994) Pattern in the cultural landscape. In: Helmfrid S (ed) Landscape and settlements. National Atlas of Sweden, Stockholm, pp 10–11Google Scholar
  29. Jacobson GL Jr, Bradshaw RHW (1981) The selection of sites for paleovegetational studies. Quat Res 16:80–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Karlqvist L, De Geer J, Fogdestam B, Enqvist P (1995) Hydrogeologisk karta över Hallands län. SGU Ser. Ah 8, UppsalaGoogle Scholar
  31. Lagerås P (2000) Järnålderns odlingssystem och landskapets långsiktiga förändring: Hamnedas röjningsröseområden i ett paleoekologiskt perspektiv (in Swedish). In: Lagerås P (ed) Arkeologi och paleoekologi i sydvästra Småland: tio artiklar från Hamnedaprojektet (Skrifter 34). Riksantikvarieämbetet, Stockholm, pp 167–229Google Scholar
  32. Lagerås P (2002) Landskapsutveckling och markanvändning (in Swedish). In: Berglund BE, Börjesson K (eds) Markens minnen: landskap och odlingshistoria på Småländska höglandet under 6000 år. Riksantikvarieämbetet, Stockholm, pp 33–57Google Scholar
  33. Lagerås P (2007) The ecology of expansion and abandonment: medieval and post-medieval agriculture and settlement in a landscape perspective. Riksantikvarieämbetet, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  34. Lagerås P, Bartholin T (2003) Fire and stone clearance in Iron Age agriculture: new insights inferred from the analysis of terrestrial macroscopic charcoal in clearance cairns in Hamneda, southern Sweden. Veget Hist Archaeobot 12:83–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lagerås P, Sandgren P (1994) The use of mineral magnetic analyses in identifying middle and late Holocene agriculture: a study of peat profiles in Småland, southern Sweden. J Archaeol Sci 21:687–697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Linnæus C (1751) Skånska resa år 1749 (ed by C-O von Sydow). Wahlström & Wistrand, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  37. Malmer N (1965) The south-western dwarf shrub heaths. Acta Phytogeogr Suecica 50:121–130Google Scholar
  38. Malmström C (1939) Hallands skogar under de senaste 300 åren (in Swedish). Medd från Statens Skogsförsöksanstalt 31:171–300Google Scholar
  39. Malmström C (1940) Skogens utbredning och sammansättning i Halland under de senaste 300 åren (in Swedish). Ymer 60:23–40Google Scholar
  40. Moberg A, Sonechkin DM, Holmgren K, Datsenko NM, Karlén W (2005) Highly variable Northern Hemisphere temperatures reconstructed from low- and high-resolution proxy data. Nature 433:613–617CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Moore PD, Webb JA, Collinson ME (1991) Pollen analysis, 2nd edn. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  42. Myrdal J (1999) Jordbruket under feodalismen 1000–1700 (in Swedish). Natur och Kultur/LTs förlag, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  43. Myrdal J (2003) Digerdöden, pestvågor och ödeläggelse: ett perspektiv på senmedeltidens Sverige (in Swedish). Sällskapet Runica et Mediævalia, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  44. Norman P (1989) Röjningsrösen och förhistoriska gravar (in Swedish). Arkeologi i Sverige 1986:97–109Google Scholar
  45. Odgaard BV (1994) Holocene vegetation history of northern West Jutland, Denmark. Opera Bot 123:1–171Google Scholar
  46. Odgaard BV (1999) Fossil pollen as a record of past biodiversity. J Biogeography 26:7–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Odgaard BV (2001) Palaeoecological perspectives on pattern and process in plant diversity and distribution adjustments: a comment on recent developments. Divers Distrib 7:197–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Odgaard BV (2007) Reconstructing past biodiversity development. In: Elias SA (ed) Encyclopedia of qaternary sience. Elsevier, pp 2508–2514Google Scholar
  49. Palm L (2001) Livet, kärleken och döden: fyra uppsatser om svensk befolkningsutveckling 1300–1850 (in Swedish). Department of History, Göteborgs Universitet, GothenburgGoogle Scholar
  50. Pedersen EA (1990) Arkeologiske og paleobotaniske undersökelser av rydningsröyser: eksempler fra Vestfold og Småland (in Norwegian). In: Röjningsrösen i skogsmark: en nyckel till Sydsveriges äldre odlingshistoria. (Kungl. Skogs- och Lantbruksakademien, Rapport 46) pp 20–31Google Scholar
  51. Peglar SM (1993) The development of the cultural landscape around Diss Mere, Norfolk, UK during the past 7000 years. Rev Palaeobot Palynol 76:1–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Peglar SM, Fritz SC, Birks HJB (1989) Vegetation and land-use history at Diss, Norfolk, UK. J Ecology 77:203–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Peros MC, Gajewski K (2008) Testing the reliability of pollen-based diversity estimates. J Paleolimnol 40:357–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Poska A, Saarse L, Veski S (2004) Reflections of pre- and early-agrarian human impact in the pollen diagrams of Estonia. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 209:37–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Ramsey CB, Buck CE, Manning SW, Reimer P, Van der Plicht H (2006) Developments in radiocarbon calibration for archaeology. Antiquity 80(310):783–798Google Scholar
  56. Rasmussen P (2005) Mid- to late-Holocene land-use change and lake development at Dallund Sø, Denmark: vegetation and land-use history inferred from pollen data. The Holocene 15:1116–1129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rasmussen P, Anderson J (2005) Natural and anthropogenic forcing of aquatic macrophyte development in a shallow Danish lake during the last 7000 years. J Biogeogr 32:1993–2005CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Regnéll J (1989) Vegetation and land use during 6000 years: palaeoecology of the cultural landscape at two lake sites in southern Skåne, Sweden. Lundqua Thesis 27, LundGoogle Scholar
  59. Reille M (1992) Pollen et spores d’europé et D’AfriQue du Nord. Laboratoire de Botanique Historique et Palynologie, MarseilleGoogle Scholar
  60. Reille M (1995) Pollen et spores d’europé et D’AfriQue du Nord, Supplement 1. Laboratoire de Botanique historique et Palynologie, MarseilleGoogle Scholar
  61. Renberg I, Wik M (1985) Carbonaceous particles in lake sediments: pollutants from fossil fuel combustion. Ambio 14:161–163Google Scholar
  62. Sjörs H (1965) Forest regions. Acta Phytogeogr Suecica 50:48–63Google Scholar
  63. Skoglund P (1997) Röjningsröseområden i Kronobergs län Swedish). In: Hansson M (ed) Gårdar, åkrar och biskopens stad. Kulturspridaren, Växjö, pp 35–64Google Scholar
  64. Sugita S (1994) Pollen representation of vegetation in Quaternary sediments: theory and method in patchy vegetation. J Ecol 82:881–897CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Svedmark E (1893) Kombinerad jordarts- och berggrundskarta. SGU, Ser Ab 13, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  66. Syrén M (ed) (1995) Climate, lakes and rivers. National Atlas of Sweden, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  67. Thompson R, Oldfield F (1986) Environmental magnetism. Allen and Unwin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  68. Tollin C (1989) Röjningsrösen i södra Sverige (in Swedish). Arkeologi i Sverige 1986:53–71Google Scholar
  69. Van der Knaap WO (2009) Estimating pollen diversity from pollen accumulation rates: a method to assess taxonomic richness in the landscape. The Holocene 19:159–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Von Post L (1924) Das genetische System der organogenen Bildungen Schwedens. Comit Internat. de Pedologie IV Commission 22Google Scholar
  71. Weng C, Hooghiemstra H, Duivenvoorden JF (2006) Challenges in estimating past plant diversity from fossil pollen data: statistical assessment, problems, and possible solutions. Divers Distrib 12:310–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Widgren M (2003) Sammanfattning och diskussion (in Swedish). In: Widgren M (ed) Röjningsröseområden på sydsvenska höglandet: arkeologiska, kulturgeografiska och vegetationshistoriska undersökningar (Meddelanden 117. Kulturgeogr Inst, Stockholms Univ, Stockholm, pp 207–208Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology, GeoBiosphere Science CentreLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Swedish National Heritage BoardArchaeological Excavations Department UV SydLundSweden

Personalised recommendations