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Vitis pollen dispersal in and from organic vineyards I. Pollen trap and soil pollen data

Record type: Article

The recent discovery of Roman vineyards in Britain [Antiquity 75 (2001) 745] based on both archaeological and palynological data has raised questions concerning the palynological record of viticulture in NW Europe. This paper presents data collected from 30 pollen traps and 29 soil pollen samples from within, and around, three organic vineyards in England. The soil trap data were collected over one flowering season. Within-vineyard pollen accumulation is compared with off-site accumulation and the soil pollen data. Although there is extremely high intravineyard variation in Vitis accumulation, the data confirm the role of stemflow transport and the exponential decrease in Vitis pollen accumulation with distance away from the vineyard. Pollen trap values of over 2% total pollen (TP) Vitis and soils with over 0.2% TP (based on 1000+ pollen sum) are likely to indicate the on-site presence of a vineyard. This is in accordance with the values recorded from known Roman vineyards in the Nene Valley. A compilation of occasional finds of Vitis pollen in England reveals typical values of 0.2% or less; although higher values are recorded, they are generally an artefact of a low total pollen count. However, the clustering of these occasional finds into the Roman and high Medieval periods suggests that long-distance Vitis influx increased during periods of widespread viticulture in NW Europe including England. The monitoring of Vitis pollen dispersal suggests that where encountered as part of routine pollen counting, the total pollen sum should be increased to ca. 1000 TP in order to establish a better estimate of the frequency of occurrence. This will allow palynology to play a less ambiguous part in the mapping of ancient viticulture.

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Citation

Turner, S.D. and Brown, A.G. (2004) Vitis pollen dispersal in and from organic vineyards I. Pollen trap and soil pollen data Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 129, (3), pp. 117-132. (doi:10.1016/j.revpalbo.2003.12.002).

More information

Published date: April 2004
Keywords: Vitis, pollen trap, soil pollen, taphonomy, viticulture

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 55228
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/55228
ISSN: 0034-6667
PURE UUID: 54ae7228-dbf0-48fd-971b-da9edcc29a1f

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 01 Aug 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:33

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