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The Full-Glacial Forests of Central and Southeastern Europe

  • Katherine J. Willis (a1), Edina Rudner (a2) and Pal Sümegi (a2)

The presence of trees in central and southern Europe during the last full-glaciation has long been a matter of debate. A low but persistent presence of fossil tree pollen in central and southern European full-glacial paleoecological sequences has been interpreted either as representing long-distance pollen transport from southerly refuges or as representing in situ refugial populations. Here we present macroscopic charcoal results from 31 sequences located throughout Hungary that provide unequivocal evidence for the presence of at least seven different tree types between approximately 32,500 and 16,500 14C yr B.P. This evidence is presented in conjunction with molluscan and pollen analyses to indicate that during the last full-glaciation, trees grew as far north as Hungary, probably in microenvironmentally favorable sites. These areas provided an important cold-stage refugium for the European flora and fauna.

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