Fagus sylvatica is one of the most representative trees of the European deciduous broadleaved forests, yet the impact of changing climatic conditions and anthropogenic pressures (anthromes) on its presence and distribution in the coastal and lowland areas of the Mediterranean Basin has long been overlooked. Here, we first analysed the local forest composition in two different time intervals (350–300 Before Current Era, BCE and 150–100 BCE) using charred wood remains from the Etruscan site of Cetamura (Tuscany, central Italy). Additionally, we reviewed all the relevant publications and the wood/charcoal data obtained from anthracological analysis in F. sylvatica, focusing on samples that date back to 4000 years before present, to better understand the drivers of beech presence and distribution during the Late Holocene (LH) in the Italian Peninsula. Then, we combined charcoal and spatial analyses to test the distribution of beech woodland at low elevation during LH in Italy and to evaluate the effect of climate change and/or anthrome on the disappearance of F. sylvatica from the lowlands. We collected 1383 charcoal fragments in Cetamura belonging to 21 woody taxa, with F. sylvatica being the most abundant species (28 %), followed by other broadleaved trees. We identified 25 sites in the Italian Peninsula with beech charcoals in the last 4000 years. Our spatial analyses showed a marked decrease in habitat suitability of F. sylvatica from LH to the present (ca. 48 %), particularly in the lowlands (0–300m above sea level, a.s.l.) and at higher altitudes (>900 m a.s.l). In the lowland areas, where F. sylvatica has disappeared, climate had a more uniform effect on beech distribution patterns across the entire elevation range analysed, whereas climate+anthrome and anthrome alone influenced 69 % and 84 % of the lowland areas, respectively.

Shedding light on the effects of climate and anthropogenic pressures on the disappearance of Fagus sylvatica in the Italian lowlands: evidence from archaeo-anthracology and spatial analyses / Buonincontri, Mauro Paolo; Bosso, Luciano; Smeraldo, Sonia; Chiusano, MARIA LUISA; Pasta, Salvatore; DI PASQUALE, Gaetano. - In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. - ISSN 0048-9697. - (2023). [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.162893]

Shedding light on the effects of climate and anthropogenic pressures on the disappearance of Fagus sylvatica in the Italian lowlands: evidence from archaeo-anthracology and spatial analyses

MAURO PAOLO BUONINCONTRI
Co-primo
Conceptualization
;
LUCIANO BOSSO
Co-primo
Methodology
;
SONIA SMERALDO
Formal Analysis
;
MARIA LUISA CHIUSANO
Writing – Review & Editing
;
GAETANO DI PASQUALE
Ultimo
Supervision
2023

Abstract

Fagus sylvatica is one of the most representative trees of the European deciduous broadleaved forests, yet the impact of changing climatic conditions and anthropogenic pressures (anthromes) on its presence and distribution in the coastal and lowland areas of the Mediterranean Basin has long been overlooked. Here, we first analysed the local forest composition in two different time intervals (350–300 Before Current Era, BCE and 150–100 BCE) using charred wood remains from the Etruscan site of Cetamura (Tuscany, central Italy). Additionally, we reviewed all the relevant publications and the wood/charcoal data obtained from anthracological analysis in F. sylvatica, focusing on samples that date back to 4000 years before present, to better understand the drivers of beech presence and distribution during the Late Holocene (LH) in the Italian Peninsula. Then, we combined charcoal and spatial analyses to test the distribution of beech woodland at low elevation during LH in Italy and to evaluate the effect of climate change and/or anthrome on the disappearance of F. sylvatica from the lowlands. We collected 1383 charcoal fragments in Cetamura belonging to 21 woody taxa, with F. sylvatica being the most abundant species (28 %), followed by other broadleaved trees. We identified 25 sites in the Italian Peninsula with beech charcoals in the last 4000 years. Our spatial analyses showed a marked decrease in habitat suitability of F. sylvatica from LH to the present (ca. 48 %), particularly in the lowlands (0–300m above sea level, a.s.l.) and at higher altitudes (>900 m a.s.l). In the lowland areas, where F. sylvatica has disappeared, climate had a more uniform effect on beech distribution patterns across the entire elevation range analysed, whereas climate+anthrome and anthrome alone influenced 69 % and 84 % of the lowland areas, respectively.
2023
Shedding light on the effects of climate and anthropogenic pressures on the disappearance of Fagus sylvatica in the Italian lowlands: evidence from archaeo-anthracology and spatial analyses / Buonincontri, Mauro Paolo; Bosso, Luciano; Smeraldo, Sonia; Chiusano, MARIA LUISA; Pasta, Salvatore; DI PASQUALE, Gaetano. - In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. - ISSN 0048-9697. - (2023). [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.162893]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/919866
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