Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/2953
The main purpose of this investigation is to obtain data that can highlight the vegetation history of Fljótsdalshérað for the last 2000 years, and one objective of this study is to understand the main reasons for the observed forest decline. The investigation was based on two different datasets. Firstly, an extensive literature study was carried out on all available historical records concerning vegetation and climate in eastern Iceland since the settlement of the country. Secondly, a pollen analytical study was performed on samples from a sediment core from a small pond within the present border of Hallormsstaðarskógur forest. The studied core segment covers roughly the last 2000 years.
The core consisted of homogeneous limnic sediment with multiple tephra layers. A tephrocronology was constructed for the core using six identified tephra layers. The pollen analytical results are divided up into six pollen assembly zones, each representing a different vegetation condition. These zones were used to interpret the vegetation history. By the time of the settlement, forest covered the area around the pond, however the forest retreated fast after the settlement. In the 15th century the forest re-advanced and was rather abundant until the middle of the 18th century when it started to retreat fast. This retreat continued until the beginning of the 20th century when the forest was protected.
From the results of this study it can be assumed that human activity seems to have been the dominating factor over climate in the condition of the forest since the settlement.