Meetings of the Royal Botanical Society of The Netherlands
Acta botanica neerlandica , Volume 47 - Issue 4 p. 509- 520
The present vegetation of Central and North Western Europe is the result of a lengthy interaction between natural processes and human influence. The predecessors of our present grassland communities are considered to be the open steppe tundra vegetation that existed during the pleistocene glacial periods. It appears that several grassland species immigrated during the Late Glacial and the early Holocene, when the landscape was still relatively open and the climate favourable for a number of Mediterranean and Pontic species to spread throughout Europe (Pott, R. 1995, Phylocoenologia 29: 7-32). The expanse of the dense primeval woodland of the early and middle Holocene has been increasingly lost since the onset of the Neolithic period, when man introduced a great number of typical anthropozoogenic grassland species (Koerber-Grohne, U. 1990, Bibl. Bot. 39: 1-105).
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