Woodland history of the last 500 years revealed by anthracological studies of charcoal kiln sites in the Bavarian Forest, Germany
Charcoal was analysed from 16 charcoal kiln sites at Haselberg in the Lower Bavarian Forest (Germany). The results contribute to the reconstruction of woodland history on a fine landscape scale for the last 500 years. At Haselberg a Fagus sylvatica-dominated woodland was used for charcoal burning in medieval times. Betula-dominated charcoal spectra indicate considerable timber cutting on some parts of the considered slope, which might have been connected to a land-use rotation system called "Birkenbergwirtschaft". Picea abies-dominated forest stands are now found in those areas, whereas other areas of the slope are still covered with semi-natural beech-stands. Charcoal analysis is a useful tool to reveal landscape use patterns on a fine spatial resolution, for time periods and areas where historic evidence and historic maps are not available.