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A GIS approach to palaeovegetation modelling in the Mediterranean: the case study of southwest Turkey

McMillan, Anneley (2013)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Vegetation is a critical component of Mediterranean palaeolandscape studies, however variable data quality and quantity, a lack of understanding of Mediterranean vegetation processes, and complex environments may preclude important palaeolandscape debates from being answered adequately. Issues of representation and uncertainty, and difficulties comparing palaeoecological data against archaeological records often tend to confound clear conclusions from being drawn. Modelling and simulation studies can alleviate some of these difficulties, however, palaeovegetation models have not been utilized to a great extent in the Mediterranean.

To help redress the balance, this thesis established a vegetation modelling framework set in Mediterranean southwest Turkey. The framework developed a bioclimatic model, and employed Bayesian modelling of radiocarbon dates to model pollen zone boundaries. A final stage converted vegetation modelling output to pollen simulations to compare model output with actual analytical pollen data.

The model framework was then employed to investigate three disputed points in Mediterranean palaeoecological history. Firstly whether climate could account for concurrent evidence of high lake stands and steppic vegetation signatures during last glacial period. Different aspects of this scenario were explored, including potential refugia locations for cold and drought intolerant species, and the balance of humidity and aridity across the region that may have allowed glacial advance and high lake levels. The model was secondly employed to analyse the potential for a lag in tree expansion in southwest Turkey at the beginning of the Holocene, and was finally employed to examine the beginning, expansion and end of the enigmatic Beyşehir Occupation Phase.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Eastwood, Warren and Chapman, Henry
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects:G Geography (General)
GE Environmental Sciences
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:4179
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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