Volcanic impacts on the Holocene vegetation history of Britain and Ireland?

A review and meta-analysis of the pollen evidence

Richard J. Payne, Kevin J. Edwards, Jeff J. Blackford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Volcanic ash layers show that the products of Icelandic volcanism reached Britain and Ireland many times during the Holocene. Historical records suggest that at least one eruption, that of Laki in a.d. 1783, was associated with impacts on vegetation. These results raise the question: did Icelandic volcanism affect the Holocene vegetation history of Britain and Ireland? Several studies have used pollen data to address this issue but no clear consensus has been reached. We re-analyse the palynological data using constrained ordination with various representations of potential volcanic impacts. We find that the palynological evidence for volcanic impacts on vegetation is weak but suggest that this is a case of absence of evidence and is not necessarily evidence of absence of impact. To increase the chances of identifying volcanic impacts, future studies need to maximise temporal resolution, replicate results, and investigate a greater number of tephras in a broader range of locations, including more studies from lake sediments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-164
Number of pages12
JournalVegetation History and Archaeobotany
Volume22
Issue number2
Early online date15 Apr 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

Fingerprint

vegetation history
meta-analysis
Ireland
United Kingdom
volcanism
volcanic activity
pollen
Holocene
vegetation
historical record
volcanic ash
ordination
lacustrine deposit
volcanic eruption
lakes
sediments
Meta-analysis
Pollen
Vegetation History
product

Keywords

  • tephra
  • hekla
  • volcanic impacts
  • palyngology
  • tephropalyngology
  • ordination

Cite this

Volcanic impacts on the Holocene vegetation history of Britain and Ireland? A review and meta-analysis of the pollen evidence. / Payne, Richard J.; Edwards, Kevin J.; Blackford, Jeff J.

In: Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, Vol. 22, No. 2, 03.2013, p. 153-164.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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