Fire and vegetation history of the Spanish Sierra Nevada


This project seeks to determine changes in vegetation and disturbance histories from a high elevation region of southern Spain, which has had a long and varied history of human impact, from the Tartessians, Visigoths, Romans, and Moors to the modern Spanish nation.

Still in its intitial stages, the research is an international collaboration between researchers at Northern Arizona University (R. Scott Anderson and Dr. Gonzalo Jiménez-Moreno), the Universidad de Granada (Dra. Carmen Pérez-Martínez, Dr. Regino Zamora), the Sierra Nevada Natural Park (Dr. Javier Sanchez, Park Director) and the Universidad de Murcia (Dr. Jose Carrión).

The Sierra Nevada is the second highest mountain range in Europe, behind the Alps. The mountain range was glaciated most recently during the Little Ice Age, but evidence of previous glaciation is common in high elevation valleys.

The research team will be taking sediment cores from high elevation lakes and bogs within the mountain range to answer the questions posed above.

Photo: Sierra Nevada from Alcazaba's Torre de la Vela, Granada