Studia botanica hungarica

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Author(s): Magyari, E.
Title: Late Quaternary vegetation history in the Hortobágy steppe and Middle Tisza floodplain, NE Hungary
Year: 2011
Volume: 42
Pages: 185-203.

Abstract: Palaeoecological records of the last glacial period and the Holocene in NE Hungary are summarised on the basis of the field guide the author had prepared for the excursion to the Hortobágy National Park on the occasion of the 8th European Palaeobotany-Palynology Conference in 2010. New pollen records from the Hortobágy and the neighbouring Middle Tisza floodplain suggest that during the Upper Pleniglacial period (including the last glacial maximum between 23,000–18,000 cal yr BP) the current area of Hortobágy was mainly covered by mosaics of boreal wooded steppe, steppe tundra, and extensive boreal mires in an alluvial landscape. The pollen evidence for the presence of saline plant communities in this period is yet ambiguous, but the fossil molluscan assemblages imply that saline habitats were likely present in the Hortobágy and Hajdúság. In the Holocene, various wooded steppe associations followed each other in the Middle Tisza floodplain: in the early and mid-Holocene (until 4,200 cal yr BP) they were characterised by stands of Quercus- Ulmus-Corylus, followed by Quercus-Carpinus betulus, and from 3,200 cal yr BP Quercus- Fagus sylvatica. A pollen record from the Hortobágy furthermore suggests that the distribution of steppe oak woodlands might have been limited here during the entire Holocene, instead, the area was dominated by natural saline steppe-like formations. It would be desirable to verify this inference by further radiometrically dated pollen records, as several other pollen records from the Tisza alluvial plain suggest that woodland clearances connected to extensive grazing since the Late Bronze Age–Early Iron Age destroyed large tracts of woodland areas in this part of Hungary, and thus woodland clearances might have also facilitated the demise of the alluvial forests of the Hortobágy, at least to some extent.
Keywords: Holocene, Eastern Hungary, Oxygen Isotope Stage 2, pollen and plant macro-fossil analysis, steppe vegetation
Subject: botany

Journal: Studia botanica hungarica
Journal abbreviation: Studia bot. hung.
ISSN: 0301-7001
Publisher: Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest
Editor(s): Papp, B., Lőkös, L. & Fuisz, T. I.