Reconstruction of the Forest and Land Use History from Neolithic to the Present in Westensee moraine region, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

PhD project Mykola Sadovnik

pictureIn this project we investigate the long-term dynamics of vegetation in the Westensee moraine region in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, since the Neolithic.

The study focuses on the reconstruction of land use and forest history and changes of landscape under anthropogenic influence since the Neolithic at a high spatial resolution. Suitable archives for pollen analysis are small mires and lakes for the reconstruction of vegetation changes in the surrounding area. The study of pollen records from different sites aims to provide detailed information on the forest dynamics and land use history of the study region with special emphasis on the Neolithic period and the establishment of beech as a major constituent of the forests.


  • When did the first human impact occur in the study area?
  • Can pollen analysis confirm and support the numerous prehistoric findings and archaeological data?
  • When did beech stands begin to continuously exist in the investigation area?

We combine palynological results with archaeological data and information from historical records. A chronological frame work will be provided by pollen-stratigraphic correlations and radiocarbon dating (14C AMS-technique).Application of GIS will allow the analysis of the forest and landscape development in the past and a comparison with the current forest situation.