Articles | Volume 2, issue 3
SOIL, 2, 311–324, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2-311-2016

Special issue: Soil as a record of the past

SOIL, 2, 311–324, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2-311-2016

Original research article 04 Jul 2016

Original research article | 04 Jul 2016

The impact of ancestral heath management on soils and landscapes: a reconstruction based on paleoecological analyses of soil records in the central and southeastern Netherlands

Marieke Doorenbosch and Jan M. van Mourik

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Short summary
Soil records provide information about 5 millennia of heath management in cultural landscapes on sandy soils. Deforestations and the introduction of the deep, stable economy in the 18th century resulted in sand drifting and heath degradation. After the introduction of chemical fertilizers more than 90 % of the heaths were transformed into productive arable field or forests. Currently the last heaths are preserved as part of the cultural heritage.