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Andre Baumann:

On the Vegetation History of Calcareous Grasslands in the Franconian Jura (Germany) since the Bronze Age

2006. 194 pages, 71 figures, 30 tables, 14x23cm, 390 g
Language: English

(Dissertationes Botanicae, Band 404)

ISBN 978-3-443-64317-1, paperback, price: 50.00 €

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Keywords

calcareous grassland Franconian Jura Germany Bronze Age anthracological analysis vegetation

Contents

Synopsis top ↑

In Central Europe, nearly all calcareous grasslands have originated and developed under human land-use practices like burning, grazing by cattle and sheep and hay-making. These grasslands belong to the most species-rich habitats in Central Europe, but the factors causing species richness are still poorly understood. Land-use history and the age of an ecosystem can have significant effects on its species richness. The date of the first appearance of man-made dry grasslands and the development of calcareous grasslands are mostly unknown. From the centre of the distribution of calcareous grasslands in Central Europe, which are the Jurassic mountains Swabian and Franconian Jura, no study has been carried out on the origin of dry grasslands so far.

In the surroundings of Kallmünz three complementary approaches - especially palynological and anthracological analysis - have been carried out to reconstruct the vegetation history of certain calcareous grasslands since the Bronze Age: a) A pollen analysis reveals the local and regional vegetation history. Charcoal analysis allows the reconstruction of forest/ wood composition. It uses several geo-archives: b) charcoals from archaeological excavations of a prehistoric settlement, c) charcoals from soils of recent grasslands (pedoanthracological researches) and charcoals from historic kiln sites. This reveals the history of the local vegetation. d) With a GIS-based analysis from historical maps, records of the consolidation of farmland etc. the development of grasslands in the modern times was reconstructed.

Bespr.: Tuexenia 28 (2008) S. 282-283 top ↑

Obwohl Kalkmagerrasen zu den interessantesten und meist untersuchten Objekten der Vegetation Mitteleuropas gehören, ist über ihre Entstehung und Geschichte relativ wenig Genaueres bekant. Die vorliegende Dissertation aus Regensburg widmet sich sehr intensiv dieser Fragestellung mit einem breiten Spektrum vegetationsgeschichtlicher bzw. archäobotanischer Methoden. Vorweg zeigt eine sehr umfassende Literaturauswertung, dass man meist von vorwiegend anthropogener Entstehung dieser Rasen seit dem Neolithikum ausgeht. Im Verbund mit anderen Projekten des DFG-Graduiertenkollegs „Paläoökosystemforschung und Geschichte“ wurden umfangreiche archäobotanische Untersuchungen durchgeführt. Einen deutlichen Schwerpunkt bilden anthrakologische Arbeiten, also Analysen von Holzkohleresten im Zusammenhang mit Radiocarbondatierungen, sowohl solche aus prähistorischen, von Archäologen ausgegrabenen Siedlungsresten als auch aus den Böden aktueller Trockenrasen (Pedo- anthrakologie) und schließlich aus Resten alter Holzkohlemeiler. Hinzu kommen Pollenanalysen fluviatiler Sedimente. Für die Neuzeit werden außerdem alte Berichte, Karten, Bilder und Fotos vergleichend ausgewertet. – Untersuchungsgebiet sind verkarstete Bereiche der Frankenalb in der Umgebung von Kallmünz, wo es noch heute an den Hängen große Kalkmagerrasen des Xero- und Mesobromion (nicht -bromium!) gibt, zudem eine alte Siedlung archäologisch untersucht wird und der Grenzbereich eines mittelalterlichen Eisenerz-Verarbeitungsgebietes liegt. Hauptproblem ist der direkte Nachweis von Resten der Rasenpflanzen. Unter den Gehölzen werden Juniperus und Ligustrum als mögliche Zeiger von Kalkmagerrasen gewertet, in Pollenanalysen auch Galium, Plantago lanceolata und teilweise Brachypodium pinnatum. Der hohe Kiefernanteil in vielen Holzkohleproben, vor allem auch derjenige aus den Böden der Trockenrasen, wird als Anzeichen für eine relativ offene Landschaft bzw. das Fehlen dichter Wälder gewertet, was die Existenz von Rasen wahrscheinlich macht. Demnach dürften schon im Neolithikum erste Magerrasen existiert haben. Seit dem Mittelalter hat der hohe Bedarf an Holzkohle die Landschaft weiter geöffnet. In der Neuzeit lässt sich die Ausbreitung des Graslandes direkt nachweisen, später auch der Rückgang, der nach 1960 besonders deutlich wird. – Die sehr gründliche Arbeit (50 €) bringt vielfältige Aspekte zur Vegetationsgeschichte, sowohl methodisch als auch in den Ergebnissen. Sie zeigt aber auch, dass genauere (prä-)historisch-floristische Analysen unserer hochdiversen Kalkmagerrasen kaum oder gar nicht möglich sind.

H. Dierschke

Tuexenia 28 (2008), S. 282-283

Review: Bulletin 3 (June 2009) of the European Dry Grassland Group top ↑

The main goal of the study was to reconstruct the development of calcareous grasslands since the Bronze Age in the Franconian Jura. Several issues were addressed in the research: the appropriate archaeobotanical indicators for calcareous grasslands; the dynamics of calcareous grassland area in the research area; have indicators for dry grasslands been present continuously after appearance; are there correlations between the vegetation history and socioeconomic developments; are there similarities between the regional history of calcareous grasslands and other regions of Europe.

The book is divided into nine chapters. The first chapter is a summary; the second chapter states the aim and tasks of the research and introduces the reader with the survey area which is located in the region of the Central and Southern Franconian Alb, Bavaria, Germany.

The third chapter is devoted to Central European calcareous grassland history. It is an excellent overview of the state of art in research of calcareous grassland history in Europe and discusses pros and cons of methods used for this purpose. It gives a detailed insight into development of calcareous grasslands since the Last Glacial. The main conclusion is that calcareous grasslands existed in Central Europe as smallscale habitats before the Neolithic times, and started to increase with introduction of herding by humans, but reached their maximum area in the Middle Ages.

The fourth chapter deals with anthracological analysis of prehistoric settlements in the surroundings of Kallmünz in one of the greatest prehistoric settlements in southern Germany. The main conclusion was that the anthracological analysis confirmed a hypothesis that dry calcareous grasslands were present in Kallmünz during the Bronze Age. The local study was further expanded by pollen record of an alluvial sediment core of the River Naab (including the radiocarbon dating) (Chapter 5); and pedoanthracological study (Chapter 6).

The last chapter discusses the history of Franconian Alb calcareous grasslands in modern times. The author concludes that the losses of calcareous grasslands have been less dramatic than in the other parts of Germany. Impressive maps, archive photos and diagrams illustrate these findings.

In conclusion, I highly recommend this book to every person interested in vegetation history (and not only grasslands!) of Europe. You will get a valuable information both on methodological issues and vegetation and landscape history in Central Europe over centuries.

Solvita Rūsiņa, Riga, Latvia

Bulletin 3 (June 2009) of the European Dry Grassland Group, p. 26

Contents top ↑

1 Summary 7

2 Introduction 11
2.1 Survey area 15
2.1.1 Vegetation 15
2.1.2 Geology and soils 15
2.1.3 History 16

3 The history of Central European calcareous grasslands 17
3.1 Introduction 17
3.2 Methods and their limitations 18
3.2.1 Pollen analysis 18
3.2.2 Macro remain analysis 19
3.2.3 Distribution of taxa and floristic composition 20
3.2.4 Methods of historical geography 20
3.2.5 Analysis of socio-economic and ethnological developments 20
3.2.6 Sedimentological and pedological studies 22
3.2.7 Multi-disciplinary research projects and analyses 22
B.3 Vegetation history of calcareous grasslands 23
3.3.1 Last Glacial up to the Neolithic Age 23
3.3.2 Neolithic period 27
3.3.3 Bronze Age 28
3.3.4 Iron Age 31
3.3.5 Roman Period 32
3.3.6 Middle Ages 35
3.3.7 Modern Times until the 19th Century 36
3.3.8 20th Century 42
3.4 Summary 49

4 Anthracological analysis of prehistoric settlements 53
4.1 Introduction 53
4.2 Survey area 55
4.3 Methods 57
4.4 Results 58
4.5 Discussion 60
4.5.1 Late Early Bronze Age/ Early Middle Bronze Age (B1) 60
4.5.2 Middle Bronze Age (B2) 61
4.5.3 Late Bronze Age (Urn Pid period) (B3) 61
4.5.4 Late Iron Age (Latene Age) 62
4.6 Summary 63

5 Pollen record of an alluvial sediment core of the River Naub 65
5.1 Introduction 65
5.2 Survey area 67
5.3 Methods 67
5.4 Results 71
5.4.1 Local pollen zone KA 1 (263-279 cm) 74
5.4.2 Local pollen zone KA 2 (226-251 cm) 74
5.4.3 Local pollen zone KA 3 (132-219 cm) 75
5.4.4 Local pollen zone KA 4 (111-125 cm) 75
5.4.5 Local pollen zone KA 5 (45-102 cm) 77
5.4.6 Local pollen zone KA 6 (5-37 cm) 77
5.5 Discussion 82
5.5.1 Sedimentology, pedology and macro remains 82
5.5.2 Agricultural developments 82
5.5.3 History of forest vegetation 87
5.5.4 Analysis of Poaceae pollen 90
5.6 Surnmary 91

6 Pedoanthracological study 93
6.1 Introduction 93
6.2 Survey area 94
6.3 Methods 95
6.4 Results 97
6.4.1 Radiocarbon dating 98
6.4.2 Description of soils and present vegetation 98
6.4.3 Charcoal 98
6.5 Discussion 109
6.5.1 Soil charcoal concentration in different habitat and slope
types 109
6.5.2 Stratification of charcoal assemblages 109
6.5.3 Limitations of the interpretation 110
6.5.4 Vegetation history of calcareous grasslands l l l
6.6 Summary 113

7 Anthracological analysis of remains from kiln sites 115
7.1 Introduction 115
7.2 Survey area 116
7.3 Methods 117
7.4 Results 118
7.4.1 Remains of fuel production 118
7.4.2 Charcoal spectra 119
7.5 Discussion 125
7.5.1 Dating of the kiln site remains 125
7.5.2 Forest history 126
7.6 Summary 129

8 The history of calcareous grasslands in Modern Times 131
8.1 Introduction 131
8.2 Methods 132
8.3 Results 132
8.3.1 17th Century 132
8.3.2 18th Century 133
8.3.3 19th Century 133
8.3.4 20th Century 133
8.4 Discussion 142
8.4.1 17th Century 142
8.4.2 1 8th Century 143
8.4.3 19th Century 143
8.4.4 20th Century 145
8.4.5 21 st Century 146
8.5 Summary 148

9 Perspectives 151
9.1 Research perspectives 151
9.2 Vegetation history of other ecosystem types 151
9.3 Methodological perspectives 152

10 References 153

11 Appendix 191