• Late Quaternary vegetation history of Craven, Yorkshire Dales.

      Gillmore, Gavin; Taylor, Timothy F.; Lee-Thorp, Julia A.; Swindles, Graeme T.; Rushworth, Garry (University of BradfordDivision of Archaeology, School of Life Sciences, 2014-05-01)
      This thesis investigates new late Quaternary vegetation records from four sites in the Craven District of the Yorkshire Dales. The chosen sites fall along an east-west transect broadly following the line of the south Craven Fault. The rationale for site selection was not based on conventional palynological considerations of potential for rich core samples, rather to provide a range of different locations within a distinct micro-region each existing in some specific proximity to known archaeological features. The logic was to attempt to get beyond broad ¿natural¿ climatological and vegetational inferences to understand the nature and level of potential anthropogenically produced change at a local scale as a sub-set of natural change in a broader regional zone over time. The sites reveal varied vegetation histories from the Late Glacial period to the present day and all show signs of being influenced by changes in their arboreal structure at some time, although no two sites have exactly the same vegetation communities until around 5000 BP when the tree canopy is opened to allow an open grassland to dominate. The results indicate the possibility that Betula values, in particular, might indicate cooling events found in the Greenland ice cores for Greenland Interstadial 1 as well as the Pre-boreal Oscillation and the Holocene 9.3 ka BP Event. Closer chronological control of such values could help to determine whether vegetational dynamics were synchronous with fluctuations in temperature and the speed with which trees respond to severe temperature fluctuations. Various hiatuses identified during analysis of the cores may be caused by human influence on the wetlands, given that archaeological evidence from caves shows human occupation of the Craven area from the late Upper Palaeolithic onwards.