Pinus and Prostomis: a dendrochronological and palaeoentomological study of a mid-Holocene woodland in eastern England

Boswijk, G. and Whitehouse, N. J. (2002) Pinus and Prostomis: a dendrochronological and palaeoentomological study of a mid-Holocene woodland in eastern England. Holocene, 12(5), pp. 585-596. (doi: 10.1191/0959683602hl569rp)

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Abstract

Tree-ring analysis of subfossil Pinus sylvestris L. and Quercus sp. and their associated subfossil insect assemblages from tree rot-holes have been used to study a prehistoric forest buried in the basal peats at Tyrham Hall Quarry, Hatfield Moors SSSI, in the Humberhead Levels, eastern England. The site provided a rare opportunity to examine the date, composition, age structure and entomological biodiversity of a mid-Holocene Pinus-dominated forest. The combined approaches of dendrochronology and palaeoentomology have enabled a detailed picture of the forest to be reconstructed, within a precise time-frame. The Pinus chronology has been precisely dated to 2921–2445 bc against the English Quercus master curve and represents the first English Pinus chronology to be dendrochronologically dated. A suite of important xylophilous (wood-loving) beetles that are today very rare and four species that no longer live within the British Isles were also recovered, their disappearance associated with the decline in woodland habitats as well as possible climatic change. The subfossil insects indicate that the characteristic species of the site's modern-day fauna were already in place 4000 years ago. These findings have important implications in terms of maintaining long-term invertebrate biodiversity of forest and mire sites.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Whitehouse, Dr Nicki
Authors: Boswijk, G., and Whitehouse, N. J.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Journal Name:Holocene
Publisher:Edward Arnold
ISSN:0959-6836
ISSN (Online):1477-0911

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