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The Toledo Mountains: A Resilient Landscape and a Landscape for Resilience? Hazards and Strategies in a Mid-Elevation Mountain Region in Central Spain

1
Instituto de Historia, CSIC, C/Albasanz 26-28, 28037 Madrid, Spain
2
Departamento de Geografía, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, C/ Francisco Tomás y Valiente 1, 28049 Madrid, Spain
3
Departamento de Geografía, Urbanismo y Ordenación del Territorio, Universidad de Cantabria, Avenida Los Castros 44, 39005 Santander, Spain
4
Département de Géographie, Université de Montréal, Pavillon 520, Chemin Côte Sainte-Catherine, C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada
5
Institute of Plant Sciences and Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Altenbergrain 21, 3013 Bern, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Quaternary 2019, 2(4), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat2040035
Received: 30 June 2019 / Revised: 8 October 2019 / Accepted: 10 October 2019 / Published: 18 October 2019
The Toledo Mountains are a mid-elevation mountain range that separates the Tagus and Guadiana basins in the central area of the Iberian Peninsula. The location of these mountains allows the development of typical Mediterranean vegetation with some Atlantic influence. Consequently, typical broadleaved evergreen Mediterranean vegetation currently dominates the regional landscape, with the remarkable presence of more mesophilous species in sheltered and more humid microsites such as gorges (e.g., Prunus lusitanica, Taxus baccata, Ilex aquifolium) and mires/bogs (e.g., Betula pendula susbp. fontqueri, Erica tetralix, Myrica gale). Palaeoecological studies in these mountains are essential to understand the long-term ecology and original distribution of these valuable communities and are key to assess their resilience. Understanding the hazards and opportunities faced in the past by the plant communities of the Toledo Mountains is necessary to enhance the management and protection of those species currently threatened. This study focuses on El Perro mire, a peatland on the southern Toledo Mountains (central Spain) where climatic variability has played a major role in landscape dynamics at multi-decadal to millennial timescales. Climatic events such as the 4.2 ka cal. Before Present (BP) or the Little Ice Age triggered relevant landscape changes such as the spread and latter decline of birch and hazel forests. Human communities also seemed to be affected by these events, as their resilience was apparently jeopardized by the new climatic conditions and they were forced to find new strategies to cope with the new scenarios. View Full-Text
Keywords: abrupt climatic events; little ice age; paleoecology; palynology; resilience abrupt climatic events; little ice age; paleoecology; palynology; resilience
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Luelmo-Lautenschlaeger, R.; Pérez-Díaz, S.; Blarquez, O.; Morales-Molino, C.; López-Sáez, J.A. The Toledo Mountains: A Resilient Landscape and a Landscape for Resilience? Hazards and Strategies in a Mid-Elevation Mountain Region in Central Spain. Quaternary 2019, 2, 35.

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