Turkish Journal of Botany




Palynological investigations have revealed that the deforestation of Central Anatolia started c. 4000 BP. At present, most of the land is cultivated and only small patches of woodland occur in remote mountain areas. These woodlands are dominated by deciduous oaks ( Quercus L. spp.) or locally by junipers ( Juniperus L. spp.). A pattern of scattered fruit trees, the so-called wild orchards, characterizes the cultivated fields. Another type of arboreal vegetation is found on isolated rock outcrops in the fields. Surveys of the vegetation types show that oaks are uncommon among the fields and on the rock outcrops. By contrast, wild fruit trees are virtually absent in the oak woodlands. The results of this investigation contrast with the opinion that the present wild orchard' stands are the remnants of former oak woodland or forest. Moreover, archaeobotanical records demonstrate that certain wild fruit trees (e.g., Celtis tournefortiiLam. and AmygdalusL. spp.) were present before the maximum expansion of oak woodland, c. 8000 BP.


Anatolia, orchard, fruit tree, oak woodland

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