Ianula (1970) revisited. Lessons from a pioneering study
More than fifty years ago, G.E. Hutchinson published “Ianula: an account of the history and development of the Lago di Monterosi, Latium, Italy”, a detailed report of one of the first multi-disciplinary palaeolimnological studies. The main result of that study was that the last Glacial climate in peninsular Italy was not only cold but also dry, in contrast with the assumption prevalent at that time of wet "pluvials" in Glacial stages of the northern Mediterranean. These finding were confirmed by more recent studies on other volcanic lakes in Italy. Furthermore, the authors found a major change in ecosystem structure and concluded that it was caused by the building of a road in Roman time. Comparing Monterosi pollen profile with those obtained from cores in other lakes in Central Italy and in the Adriatic Sea, I suggest an alternative hypothesis linking the dramatic environmental change recorded to soil development during forest onset at the beginning of the Holocene. The original report made available a large share of the data set, as a pioneering example of Open Data, allowing a re-examination of the results and the formulation of new hypotheses, underlying the importance of open data in environmental science.
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