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Vegetation History in the Toledo Mountains (Central Iberia): Human Impact during the Last 1300 Years
- Luelmo-Lautenschlaeger, Reyes, Pérez-Díaz, Sebastián, Alba-Sánchez, Francisca, Abel-Schaad, Daniel, López-Sáez, José Antonio
- Sustainability 2018 v.10 no.7
- anthropogenic activities, climate, ecosystems, grazing, human communities, human development, humans, landscape management, landscapes, mountains, paleoecology, terracing, vegetation, Spain
- Mid-mountain ecosystems provide a broad diversity of resources, heterogeneous relief, and a mild climate, which are all very useful for human necessities. These features enable different strategies such as the terracing of the slopes as well as wide crop diversification. Their relations lead to a parallel co-evolution between the environment and human societies, where fire and grazing become the most effective landscape management tools. This paper presents the results obtained from a multi-proxy study of the Bermú paleoenvironmental record, which is a minerotrophic mire located in the Quintos de Mora National Hunting Reserve (Toledo Mountains, central Spain). The bottom of this core has been dated in the Islamic period (ca. 711–1100 cal AD), and the study shows how the landscape that was built over time in the Toledo Mountains up to the present day is narrowly linked to human development. This study shows the increasing human pressure on the landscape, as well as the subsequent strategies followed by the plant and human communities as they faced diverse environmental changes. Thus, it is possible to attest the main role played by the humans in the Toledo Mountains, not only as a simple user, but also as a builder of their own reflexion in the environment.