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Forskningsartikel - Refereegranskat, 2019

Farm establishment, abandonment and agricultural practices during the last 1,300 years: a case study from southern Sweden based on pollen records and the LOVE model

Fredh, Erik Daniel; Lageras, Per; Mazier, Florence; Bjorkman, Leif; Lindbladh, Matts; Brostrom, Anna


The aim of the study was to identify changes in agricultural practices and periods of agricultural expansion and regression during the last 1,300years in the South-Swedish Uplands. Sediments from the small lake of Skarpingsgolen (1.2ha) were used to quantify land-cover at a local scale (c. 1km radius) in 50-year intervals based on pollen analysis and the LOVE model (Local Vegetation Estimates). The results showed a dramatic change in land-cover, starting c. ad 1150, from a grazed, deciduous woodland, dominated by Corylus, Betula and Quercus, to a semi-open landscape dominated by Picea and open agricultural land. A hamlet, situated next to the lake, was probably established during the 12th century, abandoned during the late medieval crisis (late 14th century) and re-colonized during the 16th century. High values of Cannabis-type pollen (up to 10% of the pollen sum) suggest that hemp retting was carried out in the lake from the 13th to the 17th centuries, while elevated levels of microscopic charcoal indicate that slash-and-burn cultivation was practiced during the early 14th and the 16th-18th centuries. The LRA-based estimates of vegetation show that the modern landscape, dominated by managed coniferous woodlands, is very different from the landscape only 50-100years ago. This type of study is useful for comparisons with historical and archaeological records, and provides sufficient temporal and spatial resolution to identify short-lived abandonments and shifts in agricultural practices.


Pollen analysis; LOVE model; Land-use changes; Agricultural practices; Southern Sweden; Late Holocene

Publicerad i

Vegetation History and Archaeobotany
2019, Volym: 28, nummer: 5, sidor: 529-544
Utgivare: SPRINGER

    UKÄ forskningsämne

    Agricultural Science

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