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The Impact of Grazing and Human Disturbance on the Dynamics of Woodland in S. W. Ireland

F. J. G. Mitchell
Journal of Vegetation Science
Vol. 1, No. 2 (Apr., 1990), pp. 245-254
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3235661
Page Count: 10
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The Impact of Grazing and Human Disturbance on the Dynamics of Woodland in S. W. Ireland
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Abstract

Pollen data from three mor humus profiles taken from within native woodland in the Killarney National Park are presented. The pollen records illustrate the woodland history over about 250 years. The dynamics of woodland on the mainland are compared with those of a small ungrazed lake island. Human disturbance of the woodland in the form of felling and burning is recorded at both locations. Following the disturbance, open vegetation predominated in which Arbutus unedo was widespread. This species declined as canopy woodland re-developed. The pollen records illustrate the dynamics of the developing woodland during which the role of Ilex aquifolium and Taxus baccata was strongly influenced by grazing. The past importance of Taxus baccata in western Irish woodland is considered.

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