Current issue: 54(2)
The paper presents preliminary results of paleobotanical studies on vegetation in Åland, south-west Finland. The investigations concentrated on studying arrival of tree species and stratigraphy of peatlands. According to the studies, some plant fossils found in the peat (Ceratophyllum submersum, Sparagnium neglectum, Najas flexilis) indicate that climate of the region has earlier been warmer than at the present. The present forests in Åland are dominated by coniferous species, but the pollen analysis of the peat indicate that Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) became a common species in the region about by the time of Christ’s birth. The species has reached its present distribution in Åland relatively late. The pollen analyses give relatively little information about the arrival of birch (Betula sp.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), but it seems obvious that occurrence of birch reached its culmination just before spruce. During the warm period common alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn.) was the most important species, and also pollen of oak (Quercus robur L.), kinden (Tilia cordata L.) and elm (Ulmus sp.) was relatively common in the peat of some of the studied peatlands. An interesting finding was the pollen of Carpinus betulus in many sites in Åland.
The PDF includes a Finnish and German summary.
Pollen analysis has given information on development of the tree species composition after the ice age, but this kind of studies have not been published in Finland. In this study, pollen analysis was performed in five peatlands in the southwest Finland. According to the analysis, the forests of the area have had similar tree species composition for many thousands of years. Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) has been the dominant species as long as there has been Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) in the area. Norway spruce seems to have arrived about 4,500 years ago. It increased slowly in the beginning, and after reaching a maximum has been slowly decreasing. Before spruce arrived, Betula sp. was more abundant, and seemed to be the dominant tree species in some places. Traces of fire in the peat layers indicate that forest fires have been common before people arrived in the area, and may have beneficial to birch. Like Betula sp., also Alnus sp. were more common before spruce arrived. Also pollen of other broadleaved species, for example, Tilia sp., Ulmus sp. and Corylus could be found. However, Quercus pollen was not found. The paludification of the peatlands had begun at different times which indicates that there has not been a common cause for the development of the peatlands in the area.
The PDF includes a summary in German.