Fire history and human activities during the last 3300 cal yr BP in Spain's Central Pyrenees: The case of the Estany de Burg

Abstract : The study of macroscopic charcoal particles from peat bogs has led to a better understanding of climate, vegetation and fire history, and human impacts. To determine the relationship between human activities and the role of fire events in vegetation change during the last 3300 cal yr BP, we present the results of a multiproxy approach based on the analysis of sediment characteristics, sedimentary charcoal, organic matter and pollen, as well as historical sources. This multi-proxy research permits high resolution palaeoenvironmental and fire history reconstruction of a mountain area located in the southern central Pyrenees (Spain). In the Pyrenees, fire is typically attributed to human activities since the beginning of the Bronze Age and may be correlated with slash-and-burn cultivation, metallurgy and pasturing activities. The data indicate a good linkage between high fire signals and Poaceae and Cerealia pollen, which reveals the impact of agro-pastoral practices. This study also shows two periods, 2900–2650 cal yr BP and 1850–1550 cal yr BP, for which higher frequencies of fire occurred, suggested by high arboreal pollen (AP) concentrations, and confirming the need for arboreal biomass to sustain fires. From the beginning of the Middle Ages, it seems that a change occurred in the anthropogenic use of fire, from a tool for agro-pastoral forest clearance to a means of maintaining open spaces.
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https://hal-unilim.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01126708
Contributeur : Marie Bal <>
Soumis le : vendredi 6 mars 2015 - 15:58:11
Dernière modification le : mercredi 7 août 2019 - 10:48:10

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  • HAL Id : hal-01126708, version 1

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Marie Bal, Pelachs Albert, Perez-Obiol Ramon, Ramon Julia, Cunill Raquel. Fire history and human activities during the last 3300 cal yr BP in Spain's Central Pyrenees: The case of the Estany de Burg . Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Elsevier, 2011, pp.179-190. ⟨hal-01126708⟩

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