Holocene vegetation and fire dynamics at Crveni Potok, a small mire in the Dinaric Alps (Tara National Park, Serbia)

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Authors Walter Finsinger, Ceser Morales-Molino, Mariusz Galka, Verushka Valsecchi, Srdjan Bojovic, Willy Tinner
Journal/Conference Name Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology
Paper Category , ,
Paper Abstract We analysed sediments from Crveni Potok (Tara Mountains, Serbia), a key site in the Dinaric Alps because it is located within the restricted distribution range of the endemic conifer Picea omorika (Serbian spruce), and thereby bears a unique potential in revealing its Holocene history. We used a set of proxies (pollen, plant-macrofossils, charcoal) to reconstruct the long-term vegetation and fire histories at different spatial scales. The comprehensive snapshot provided by the reconstructions fill an important gap of European long-term vegetation and fire histories in the overall data-coverage poor region of the Dinaric Alps. The reconstructions unfolded an unusual late-Holocene persistence of high forest cover that contrasts with the large majority of European landscape-scale forest-cover records, which show massive anthropogenic openings in the past two millennia. We also found evidence for good post-fire recovery of the currently threatened endemic P. omorika populations. This leads us to suggest that prescribed-burning programmes may be beneficial to reduce the vulnerability of the species, and for ecological restoration and conservation purposes of the declining and endangered populations.
Date of publication 2017
Code Programming Language R

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