Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 554022
Title Early Holocene forest fires, drift sands, and Usselo-type paleosols in the Laarder Wasmeren area near Hilversum, the Netherlands : Implications for the history of sand landscapes and the potential role of Mesolithic land use
Author(s) Sevink, Jan; Geel, Bas van; Jansen, Boris; Wallinga, Jakob
Source Catena 165 (2018). - ISSN 0341-8162 - p. 286 - 298.
Department(s) PE&RC
Soil Geography and Landscape
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Drift sand - Early Holocene - Mesolithic - OSL - Paleosols

In the Laarder Wasmeren area in the western Netherlands, Late Pleistocene cover sands and overlying early Holocene drift sands show various paleosols, which can be characterized as more or less incipient podzols. We dated those soils and sands by radiocarbon analysis and OSL, and we used biostratigraphical dating based on the known chronology of the vegetation history. Apart from Usselo soils of Allerød age, we found early Holocene soils - showing Usselo soil characteristics but with relatively advanced podzolisation - covered by Early Holocene-early Middle Holocene drift sands. We discuss their age and origin, and reflect on the role of fires and ecosystem degradation in the early development of heathland, podzols and drift sands in the Netherlands, prior to any Neolithic farming. We hypothesize about the possible role of Mesolithic man, stimulating habitats for Corylus avellana by burning pine forest, in the longer term inducing the observed ecosystem degradation (transformation of forest into open short vegetation, acidification and concurrent podzolisation, wind erosion). This hypothesis is in line with studies in adjacent NW-European countries, which are reviewed, and an alternative for the theory of Vera (2000), who assumed that open forests and short vegetation resulted from grazing pressure by large herbivores.

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