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New insights into late Devensian late glacial and early Holocene environmental change: two high-resolution case studies from SE England

Simmonds, M. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7845-0392, Branch, N., Marshall, P., Hosfield, R. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6357-2805 and Black, S. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1396-4821 (2021) New insights into late Devensian late glacial and early Holocene environmental change: two high-resolution case studies from SE England. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 287. 104364. ISSN 0034-6667

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.revpalbo.2020.104364

Abstract/Summary

The Late Devensian Lateglacial to early Holocene transition across north-west Europe was characterized by a rapid shift in climate from the cold, harsh conditions of the Loch Lomond Stadial to the warmer climate of the early postglacial. However, our knowledge of this transition in south-east England has been hampered by the paucity of mires with sedimentary records spanning this period. We present two new high-resolution paleoenvironmental records from Langshot Bog and Elstead Bog B (Surrey, UK), which provide a clear signature of vegetation succession and fire history. Organic sedimentation at Langshot Bog commenced prior to 12,640–12,410 cal. BP (95% probability) and continued until 8430–8350 cal. BP (95% probability). Providing a robust chronology for Elstead Bog B proved to be problematic, although available dates suggest sediment accumulation commenced prior to 11,820–11,400 cal. BP (WM-168, 2σ). The sites are characterized by similar vegetation records, indicating a regional signal from locations over 20 km apart. Scrubby tundra-style vegetation is characteristic of cold conditions associated with the Lateglacial. The identification of Alnus and Corylus, taxa not normally associated with this period, indicates that microclimates may have permitted the survival of these species. Expansion of Betula followed by Pinus dates to the onset of the Holocene, forming mixed coniferous-deciduous woodland, during a period which is punctuated by short climatic events identified from stable isotope analysis. Subsequent expansion of thermophilous taxa Corylus, Ulmus and Quercus results in the formation of deciduous woodland. A rise in micro-charcoal, heathland and herbaceous taxa indicates development of heathy-scrubby clearings within this Holocene landscape.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:95048
Publisher:Elsevier

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