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Title: Modelling Mediterranean oak palaeolandscapes using the MaxEnt model algorithm: The case of the NE Iberia under Middle Holocene climatic scenario
Author: Mas Vélez, Bàrbara
Allué, Ethel
Riera i Mora, Santiago
Keywords: Entropia (Teoria de la informació)
Canvi climàtic
Assentaments humans
Mediterrània (Regió)
Entropy (Information theory)
Climatic change
Human settlements
Neolithic period
Mediterranean Region
Issue Date: May-2023
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Abstract: The Mediterranean Basin is a global biodiversity hotspot, and oak tree species play an important role in it. Since the beginning of the Holocene (~11.4 kyr BP), the distribution of forests has not occurred uniformly, resulting in diverse types of vegetation landscapes. In this study, we used a maximum entropy algorithm (MaxEnt) to obtain the ecological niche model (ENM) of two sub-Mediterranean oak species, Quercus pubescens Willd. (pubescent oak) and Quercus ilex subsp. ilex (holm oak), both in the present day in the Iberian Peninsula and within a Middle Holocene (8.2–4.2 kyr BP) climatic scenario in the NE Iberian Peninsula. Moreover, we used the locations of Neolithic archaeological sites containing anthracological data to analyze the relationship between human occupations and oak habitats. Our results suggest that the two oaks have responded differently to the climatic conditions that have occurred, and show changes in both potential distributions. The palaeolandscape vegetation map shows a denser vegetation cover in the lowlands and a more open landscape in the highlands, with a higher dominance of Quercus pubescens in the septentrional areas, while Quercus ilex was more restricted to certain coastal areas. Temperature and precipitation factors, mainly seasonal climatic conditions, have had a greater impact on the distribution of vegetation than other factors. We found a good overlap between the ENM of the two oaks and the locations of the Neolithic sites analysed, and determined that the distribution of Neolithic archaeological sites is not random. The Neolithic populations in the study area depended heavily on the resources of the deciduous and evergreen sub- Mediterranean forest, although they also exploited the resources of the mountain pine forest. Neolithic site distribution suggests that Neolithic human groups were aware of the potential of forests and probably gathered woody resources in their surroundings.
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It is part of: Ecological Informatics, 2023, vol. 74, 101984
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ISSN: 1574-9541
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Història i Arqueologia)

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