In a recent study led by Gabriel Sangüesa Barreda and the University of Tuscia (Italy), in collaboration with researchers from the University of Mainz (Germany), the University of Cambridge (UK), and the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (CSIC, Spain), we have found that the Black Death’s impacts were deeper and longer-lasting than expected.
Subalpine ecosystems are natural laboratories to study the evolution of global warming, since their dynamics are particularly sensitive to temperature changes. However, the impacts of past pandemics and land-use changes on mountain forest dynamics are still overlooked. Our recent study, published in Global Change Biology, and based on the establishment date of pine trees shows that a large-scale rewilding occurred after the late-medieval Black Death pandemic and successive pandemics, which led to a profound landscape transformation in southern European mountains. This evidence helps to understand the long-term human legacies on mountain forests.
Check the news in phys, La Repubblica (in Italian), DiCYT, Nueva Tribuna, Catalunya Vanguardista, Ecoticias, Cambio 16, Soria Noticias (in Spanish), and the interview to Gabriel Sangüesa Barreda in UVa (in Spanish).