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

McMillan, Anneley (2013). A GIS approach to palaeovegetation modelling in the Mediterranean: the case study of southwest Turkey. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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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: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Funders: Other
Other Funders: British Institute at Ankara
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/4179


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