Man and environment. Climate variations in the circum-Mediterranean area occurring during the Late Pleistocene and effects on the vegetation and fauna

Vittorio Gualdi

Abstract


The circum-Mediterranean area in this study, made up of Southern Europe, South-West Asia and North-Est Africa, was affected by a series of climate variations, even during the Late Pleistocene. Studies of the Riss-Würm Interglacial and Würm Glaciation have highlighted the effects of these variations on the vegetation, which underwent profound changes across vast sub-areas. Analysis of pollen sequences found in silt or peat on lake bottoms has enabled us to identify the plant landscapes prevalent at that time and to define the dominant species in the plant communities involved. The dynamic processes affecting the vegetation were also reflected in the wildlife, with herbivores being favoured during the colder phases with little rainfall, during which shrub species, and especially, herbaceous species thrived.


Keywords


Man and environment; late Pleistocene; climate change impacts

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