Articles | Volume 56, issue 3
01 Sep 2007
 | 01 Sep 2007

Zur spätholozänen Vegetationsgeschichte des Pfälzerwaldes: Neue pollenanalytische Untersuchungen im Pfälzischen Berg- und Hügelland

Steffen Wolters

Abstract. Two radiocarbon-dated pollen diagrams from spring mires reveal 4500 years history of natural and anthopogenic woodland and mire development in the new red sandstone area of the Palatinate Forest. Oak-lime woodland rich in noble deciduous trees dominated the landscape prior to the spread of beech. This emphasises the important role of Tilia in woodlands of the new red sandstone mountains in the Subboreal. Pinus is autochthonal to the Middle Palatinate Forest while Picea and Abies are not. The natural vegetation consisted of acidophilous beech woods (Luzulo-Fagetum, Melampyro-Fagetum) and started to develop with the mass expansion of Fagus around 1000 B.C. yielding their highest distribution approx. 1000 years later. The reflection of human impact remained weak until the Medieval times confirming that the Palatinate Forest was not colonised prior to the high medieval landnam. The clearing of Fagus and Pinus started in the 12th century. Quercus was saved from felling for the purpose of wood pasture. The clearings also affected the hydroregime of the spring mires in terms of improved water supply and acidification. While pollen analytical reflection of human impact from the Middle Ages to early Modern Times strongly depends on local conditions, the onset of silviculture in the late 18th century is mirrored as a regional signal and includes even rare species as white pine and douglas fir.