40 shades of black: Regional differences in vegetation response to a changing human influence in the Low Countries during the Dark Ages (AD 300-1000)?

Marjolein Gouw - Bouman, Timme Donders, Wim Hoek

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterOther research output

Abstract

During the Dark Ages (Late Roman Period 300-500 AD and Early Middle Ages 500-1000 AD), vegetation development is characterized by a forest regeneration. A comparison between existing palynological records shows this vegetation redevelopment phase was not uniform across the Netherlands, forest redevelopment started earlier and was more severe in the southern part than in the eastern coversand region.The prevailing view advocates that thisforest redevelopment and the regional differences are the result of a diminishing human influence on the landscape due to the collapse of the Roman empire.However,there are indications that climate and changes in the physical landscape also played a role. Existing climate-records indicate a colder and wetter (more extreme) climate during the Dark Ages and the geomorphological record points to a changing landscape. How and to what extent these climatic and environmental changes contributed to the changes in vegetation development or even to the decline of the Roman empire is largely unknown.To understand the relative importance of the factors (climate, environment, economy and demography)explaining vegetationdevelopment it is important to accurately map the regional differences in timing and amplitude of the vegetation. Therefore using the Dutch pollen database all available records are plotted and compared.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014
EventNAC12: the 12th Netherlands Earth Sciences Conference - Veldhoven
Duration: 8 Apr 20149 Apr 2014

Conference

ConferenceNAC12: the 12th Netherlands Earth Sciences Conference
CityVeldhoven
Period8/04/149/04/14

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '40 shades of black: Regional differences in vegetation response to a changing human influence in the Low Countries during the Dark Ages (AD 300-1000)?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this