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Natural to cultural: The vegetation history of the southern Yorkshire Dales, UK

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  • Graeme T. Swindles, Queen's University Belfast, Carleton University
  • ,
  • Jennifer M. Galloway, Carleton University, Geological Survey of Canada
  • ,
  • Garry Rushworth, University of Bradford
  • ,
  • Jane Wheeler, University of Bradford
  • ,
  • Philip Murphy, University of Leeds
  • ,
  • Timothy F. Taylor, Comenius University, University of Vienna

The Yorkshire Dales is one of the most iconic agricultural landscapes in Britain. However, many questions remain over the evolution of this landscape through time and its natural state before major human impacts. Here we present new palynological data that provide insight into the vegetation and fire history of the southern Yorkshire Dales from the late glacial period to present day. Our data suggest that there is considerable variation in vegetation history between sites, which probably reflects topographic and edaphic factors. Several of the records contain hiatuses that may reflect forest clearance, slow peat accumulation, or peat drainage, cutting and/or burning. Our data show a marked clearance of woodland beginning in the Neolithic period and intensifying in more recent times, marking the development of the contemporary agricultural landscape of the Yorkshire Dales.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104328
JournalReview of Palaeobotany and Palynology
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

    Research areas

  • Holocene, Human impact, Late glacial, Paleoecology, Pollen, Yorkshire Dales

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