Diverse phenotypes of Late Glacial–Early Holocene downy birch (Betula pubescens Erh.) and the morphology of early Preboreal tree stands in southern Schleswig-Holstein

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The flexibility in growth of Betula pubescens is taken as example for possible erroneous imaginations of Late Glacial–Early Holocene living conditions. The article highlights the factors influencing the phenotype of the contemporary plants, as well as the small-scale patchiness of the distribution of the
vegetation in the landscape. The area of investigation is the southern Weichselian younger morainic area of Schleswig-Holstein, including a major Late Glacial archaeological type locality – the Ahrensburg tunnel valley. The period under investigation spans the time between 11 700 and 11 400 cal BP and hence the Late Glacial–Early Holocene transition, which is characterized by a significant shift in the vegetation. This shift has often been seen as a simple transition from treeless tundra to birch forest. The aim of the article
is to provide a more realistic image of plant cover of the late Dryas 3 period and the Early Holocene period before the Preboreal oscillation by considering past natural growth limits of Betula pubescens in the study area. The intention is to provide a more accessible interpretation of palaeobotanical data to non-specialists, especially in archaeology.
TidsskriftE&G Quaternary Science Journal
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)23-40
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - 18 jan. 2024