Library Dissertation Showcase

Holocene climate varability and anthropogenic influences at Hazlewood Moor

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2020

Vegetation dynamics are influenced in predominantly two ways 1) through changes in climate 2) through interaction with humans and these factors can be analysed through palaeoecological study. The aim of this dissertation is to conduct a baseline study to better understand past vegetation dynamics change and the influence of climatic changes and anthropogenic disturbances. Palaeoecological research on one multiproxy peat sediment record (Hazlewood Moor) was used to reconstruct vegetation dynamics (pollen) and fire regimes (charcoal) to ascertain the impact of climate changes and human activity on the site. Evidence from Hazlewood Moor uncovers an extensive history of vegetation dynamics that are primarily driven by climatic changes and anthropogenic interference. A period of warming around 5.0ka BP is thought to have caused the dramatic decrease of Ulmus (elm), whilst two cooling periods of 4.8ka and 2.8ka BP led to vegetational shift and a greater incursion with humans. Towards the present, the region has been under significant stressors directly from man which has had a direct impact on how the landscape is today. The evidence here shows that the influence of climate has waned more recently (post-1600AD) in favour of greater and more oppressive anthropogenic influences. The study leaves space for further research into more processes that could be at play to create a more exhaustive piece about a site that, before this, has not been subject to palaeoecological research.

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