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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications / A 5000-year pollen and plant macrofossil record from the Osogovo Mountain, Southwestern Bulgaria: Vegetation history and human impact

Maria Lazarova, Elena Marinova, Spassimir Tonkov and Ian Snowball (2015)

A 5000-year pollen and plant macrofossil record from the Osogovo Mountain, Southwestern Bulgaria: Vegetation history and human impact

Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology , 223:1 - 9.

Abstract Pollen and plant macrofossil analyses were performed on a sequence 105 cm deep obtained from a peat bog (1750 m) that is located above the present timber-line in the Osogovo Mountain, Southwestern Bulgaria. The palaeovegetation reconstruction, supported by a radiocarbon chronology, revealed the vegetation dynamics and human impact during the last 5000 years. The peat bog formed when a coniferous belt of Abies alba and Pinus (Pinus sylvestris, Pinus nigra) covered the high mountain slopes. Charcoal fragments indicate the presence of a broad-leaved tree community composed of Quercus, Corylus, Carpinus, Tilia, Acer and Ulmus at lower altitudes. Stands of Fagus sylvatica in places with higher air and soil humidity, like river valleys and deep ravines, became established. The pollen assemblages after c. 3200 cal. \BP\ record an important change in the forest composition that led to the replacement of the conifers, mostly A. alba, by the invading communities of F. sylvatica. The reasons for this replacement included factors related to both climate change and anthropogenic disturbance. During the last centuries a large-scale degradation of the woodlands in the mountain has occurred. On a regional scale the palaeoecological evidence is compared with information from palynological, archaeological and historical sources in Southwestern Bulgaria.

Peer Review, Impact Factor
Vegetation response, Human impact, Plant macrofossils, Trees, Pollen analysis, Holocene, Southwestern Bulgaria, Osogovo Mountain
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Earth and History of Life

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