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Research article2003Peer reviewed

Early-Holocene spruce, Picea abies (L.) Karst., in west central Sweden as revealed by pollen analysis

Segerstrom U, von Stedingk H


Lateglacial and early Holocene macrofossils of Norway spruce ( Picea abies) found in the Swedish Scandes have challenged the prevailing theory, based on pollen analyses, that spruce arrived rather late (c. 3500 yr cal. BP) to Sweden. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the early-Holocene spruce establishment could be effectively assessed by pollen analysis. Four pollen analyses were carried out on peat mires in a river valley in the southern Swedish Scandes, where spruce has been present since the lateglacial. One site was analysed for the occurrence of macrofossil wood remains. The pollen diagrams display the local vegetation history for the last c. 10 000 years, and reveal the first occurrence of spruce pollen c. 9000 yr cal. BP. Spruce apparently became established in the northern part of the valley around 9000 BP, and thereafter spread southwards. The results are discussed in terms of the background pollen signal for spruce, i.e., local versus regional pollen, the presence or absence of forest on the sites during the Holocene, and the selection of study sites in relation to the aim of the investigation. Pollen analysis, as applied in this study, is shown to be a relevant method for the study of tree immigration in the early Holocene, at both a local and a landscape level


Macrofossil; peat mire; tree migration; Norway spruce; Picea abies; vegetation history; pollen analysis; Swedish Scandes; early Holocene

Published in

2003, Volume: 13, number: 6, pages: 897-906

      SLU Authors

    • Segerström, Ulf

      • Department of Forest Vegetation Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Von Stedingk, Henrik

        • Department of Forest Vegetation Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Forest Science

      Publication identifier


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