The Norse landnam on the North Atlantic islands

an environmental impact assessment

A J Dugmore, M J Church, P C Buckland, K J Edwards, I T Lawson, T H McGovern, E Panagiotakopulu, I A Simpson, P Skidmore, G Sveinbjarnardottir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Norse colonisation or landnam of the North Atlantic islands of the Faroes, Iceland, and Greenland from the ninth century AD onwards provides opportunities to examine human environmental impacts on 'pristine' landscapes on an environmental gradient from warmer, more maritime conditions in the east to colder, more continental conditions in the west. This paper considers key environmental contrasts across the Atlantic and initial settlement impacts on the biota and landscape. Before landnam, the modes of origin of the biota (which resulted in boreo-temperate affinities), a lack of endemic species, limited diversity, and no grazing mammals on the Faroes or Iceland, were crucial in determining environmental sensitivity to human impact and, in particular, the impact of introduced domestic animals. Gathering new data and understanding their geographical patterns and changes through time are seen as crucial when tackling fundamental questions about human interactions with the environment, which are relevant to both understanding the past and planning for the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-37
Number of pages17
JournalPolar Record
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005

Fingerprint

environmental impact assessment
environmental impact
biota
Iceland
environmental gradient
endemic species
anthropogenic effect
species diversity
mammal
colonization
grazing
animal
planning
lack
interaction
cold

Keywords

  • Western settlement
  • late-quaternay
  • Faroe-Islands
  • ice core
  • holocene
  • Iceland
  • Greenland
  • record
  • age
  • region

Cite this

Dugmore, A. J., Church, M. J., Buckland, P. C., Edwards, K. J., Lawson, I. T., McGovern, T. H., ... Sveinbjarnardottir, G. (2005). The Norse landnam on the North Atlantic islands: an environmental impact assessment. Polar Record, 41(1), 21-37. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0032247404003985

The Norse landnam on the North Atlantic islands : an environmental impact assessment. / Dugmore, A J ; Church, M J ; Buckland, P C ; Edwards, K J; Lawson, I T; McGovern, T H ; Panagiotakopulu, E ; Simpson, I A ; Skidmore, P ; Sveinbjarnardottir, G .

In: Polar Record, Vol. 41, No. 1, 01.2005, p. 21-37.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dugmore, AJ, Church, MJ, Buckland, PC, Edwards, KJ, Lawson, IT, McGovern, TH, Panagiotakopulu, E, Simpson, IA, Skidmore, P & Sveinbjarnardottir, G 2005, 'The Norse landnam on the North Atlantic islands: an environmental impact assessment', Polar Record, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 21-37. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0032247404003985
Dugmore, A J ; Church, M J ; Buckland, P C ; Edwards, K J ; Lawson, I T ; McGovern, T H ; Panagiotakopulu, E ; Simpson, I A ; Skidmore, P ; Sveinbjarnardottir, G . / The Norse landnam on the North Atlantic islands : an environmental impact assessment. In: Polar Record. 2005 ; Vol. 41, No. 1. pp. 21-37.
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