Can we characterise ‘openness’ in the Holocene palaeoenvironmental record? Modern analogue studies of insect faunas and pollen spectra from Dunham Massey deer park and Epping Forest, England

David Smith, Nicki Whitehouse, M. Jane Bunting, Henry Chapman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    32 Citations (Scopus)
    426 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    This paper examines the degree to which tree-associated Coleoptera (beetles) and pollen could be used to predict the degree of ‘openness’ in woodland. The results from two modern insect and pollen analogue studies from ponds at Dunham Massey, Cheshire and Epping Forest, Greater London are presented. We explore the reliability of modern pollen rain and sub-fossil beetle assemblages to represent varying degrees of canopy cover for up to 1000m from a sampling site. Modern woodland canopy structure around the study sites has been assessed using GIS-based mapping at increasing radial distances as an independent check on the modern insect and pollen data sets. These preliminary results suggest that it is possible to use tree-associated Coleoptera to assess the degree of local vegetation openness. Additionally, it appears that insect remains may indicate the relative intensity of land use by grazing animals. Our results also suggest most insects are collected from within a 100m to 200m radius of the sampling site. The pollen results suggest that local vegetation and density of woodland in the immediate area of the sampling site can have a strong role in determining the pollen signal.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)215-229
    Number of pages15
    JournalThe Holocene
    Volume20
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Earth-Surface Processes
    • Global and Planetary Change
    • Ecology
    • Palaeontology

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Can we characterise ‘openness’ in the Holocene palaeoenvironmental record? Modern analogue studies of insect faunas and pollen spectra from Dunham Massey deer park and Epping Forest, England'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this