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Late Quaternary and modern distribution of forest and some tree taxa in Turkey

  • Sytze Bottema (a1)


A broad outline is presented of forest distribution in Turkey during the last 15,000 years, based upon palynological evidence. The history of some selected taxa is given in more detail and compared with present day distributions. Considerable differences in forest composition were found between the mountain ranges N of the Anatolian plateau, the ranges S and SW of the plateau and the area SE of the eastern (Cilician) Taurus. Pinus dominated the northern part during most of the Late Glacial and the Holocene. In southwestern Anatolia a strong increase of Pinus halted SE of the Konya plain and this taxon did not cross the eastern Taurus. Cedrus and Abies fluctuated in relative importance during the period under discussion, but no marked shifts in the distribution are suggested by the pollen record. After c. 9000 BP, oak started to move into the treeless interior, especially in the SE where this tree settled on higher elevations in the steppe area. On the edges of the Anatolian plateau, oak acted as a pioneer, to be replaced by pine in the course of the Holocene. Birch, nowadays restricted mainly to higher elevations in eastern Turkey, was common in the Konya area during the last phase of the Late Glacial and the early Holocene. Beech increased in numbers during the second half of the Holocene. After the Late Glacial, mixed deciduous forest, rich in tree species, developed in the mountains of NW Turkey. It is assumed that in the Pleniglacial most of these species were present along the Black Sea coast, at lower elevations.



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Late Quaternary and modern distribution of forest and some tree taxa in Turkey

  • Sytze Bottema (a1)


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