Abrupt vegetation changes in the Segura Mountains of southern Spain throughout the Holocene
Article first published online: 26 MAR 2002
Journal of Ecology
Volume 89, Issue 5, pages 783–797, October 2001
How to Cite
Carrión, J. S., Munuera, M., Dupré, M. and Andrade, A. (2001), Abrupt vegetation changes in the Segura Mountains of southern Spain throughout the Holocene. Journal of Ecology, 89: 783–797. doi: 10.1046/j.0022-0477.2001.00601.x
- Issue published online: 26 MAR 2002
- Article first published online: 26 MAR 2002
- climate change;
- historical biogeography;
- vegetation dynamics
- 1The fossil pollen record of Cañada de la Cruz in the Segura mountains of southern Spain yields insights into high-elevation vegetational dynamics over the last c. 8320 years. Phases of xerophytic grassland alternate with high-mountain open pine forests and expansion of deciduous forests and Mediterranean scrub at lower altitudes.
- 2Longer-term stable vegetation patterns are interrupted by multidecadal to century-scale shifts at about 7770, 3370, 2630, 1525 and 790 years BP.
- 3Some of the vegetation types have no modern analogues and represent high-altitude remnants of widespread last-glacial xerophytic communities. Other species patterns, characteristic of current scrub associations, appeared only within the last 800 years.
- 4The sequence fits within the regional context of a generally wet mid-Holocene (c. 7700–3300 years BP) characterized by spread of mesophilous vegetation, between drier conditions characterized by greater abundance of xerophytes.
- 5The pollen record and current ecological studies on high-elevation vegetation of Mediterranean Spain suggest that control of vegetation is primarily climatic although grazing pressure, which would have pushed vegetation over a threshold for change, cannot be discounted.