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Durham e-Theses
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Studies in the vegetational history of Greece

Greig, J. R. A. (1973) Studies in the vegetational history of Greece. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The vegetational history of Greece was studied by means of pollen analysis. Six pollen diagrams from various parts of the Greek mainland are presented, which between them cover a time from around 30,000 years ago to the present day. The development of the vegetation from a steppe during the time of the last glaciation through a transitional stage in the late-glacial period to a post-glacial forest, and the degradation of the vegetation to the present day scrub is represented by three main pollen assemblage zones. Zone I covers part or all of the time of the last glacial period when the dominant vegetation was an Artemisia steppe with little woodland, in response to a cool dry climate with a temperature comparable with that of northern Europe today but probably less rainfall than is usual in Greece now. Zone II covers the vegetational development during the time of the late-glacial and early post-glacial where evidence from southern Greece shows a pioneer scrub vegetation being succeeded by mixed-oak forest in response to a temperature and rainfall increase, with a temporary reversion to cool and dry conditions deduced from a vegetational reversion. This sequence probably corresponds to the lower Dryas-Allerd-Upper Dryas sequence known in northern Europe. Zone III covers the degradation of the forest vegetation which appears to have taken place earlier in southern Greece than in the north, where there appears to have been substantial forest up to at least the year A.D. and possibly until Medieval times before clearance by man and animal. Two periods of olive cultivation are recognisable, one in Middle Bronze Age – Mycenean times and the other in Late Dark Ages – Early Classical times. There is no sign of climatic change in the Post-glacial sequence. The pollen rain from some modern Greek vegetation shows that tara which are abundant there may be seriously under-represented in the pollen rain.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Thesis Date:1973
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:50

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