Research & Results

IV. Palaeobotany and Palaeoenvironment Group

Head: Dr. Magdalena Moskal-del Hoyo

Scientific Staff: Dr. Maria Barbacka-Bóka, Dr. Katarzyna Cywa, Dr. Magdalena Moskal-del Hoyo, Dr. Aldona Mueller-Bieniek, Professor Dorota Nalepka, Dr. Renata Stachowicz-Rybka, Dr. Agnieszka Wacnik, Dr. Elżbieta Worobiec, Dr. Grzegorz Worobiec

Technical Staff: Barbara Kurdziel, Krzysztof Stachowicz

Research profile

Our interest is centred on development of vegetation in the context of long-term climate and environmental change, from the Mesozoic era to the Holocene historical period. Reconstructions are based on studies of fossil remains of plants and fungi, preserved in natural and anthropogenic deposits at archaeological sites. Studies concerned with the diversity and palaeoenvironment of pre-Quaternary floras are based on leaf floras, palynofloras and non-pollen palynomorphs, mostly those which developed in the Mesozoic era, and also in the Paleogene and Neogene. In addition to taxonomic studies, the detailed reconstruction of palaeoenvironments, analyses of plant-palaeoenvironment interactions and adaptation mechanisms to local topographic and microclimatic changes are carried out. Studies on the paleoenvironment of the Quaternary of Poland and Central Europe include the reconstruction of vegetation and climate in the Pleistocene interglacials and in the Holocene. As in this last period changes in the vegetation were influenced not only by changing climate but also by human activity, and the anthropogenic impact on the environment was becoming more and more important, our research is aimed to describe factors influencing the observed palaeoecological phenomena, and human-environment interactions and to demonstrate the relationship between the type of settlement and husbandry and the scale of anthropogenic impact on vegetation. The results of our archaeobotanical analyses add also to the knowledge of the history of plants used by people and allow to determine the role of crop and wild plants in ancient farming.

Research teams and topics

Team IV.1

Leader: Dr. Maria Barbacka-Bóka

Research topic: Biodiversity and paleoenvironments of pre-Quaternary floras, including interactions between plants and other organisms

  • Task IV.1.1: Micro- and macrofloras and non-pollen palynomorphs of the Paleogene and Neogene (E. Worobiec, G. Worobiec)
  • Task IV.1.2: Biodiversity and paleoecology of Mesozoic floras (M. Barbacka-Bóka)

Team IV.2

Leader: Dr. Agnieszka Wacnik

Research topic: Quaternary changes in vegetation and evolution of the cultural landscape of Europe in the context of climate change and human settlement development

  • Task IV.2.1: Dynamic of environmental changes in the Pleistocene and Holocene (K. Cywa, M. Moskal-del Hoyo, D. Nalepka, R. Stachowicz-Rybka, A. Wacnik)
  • Task IV.2.2: Archeobotanical traces of agriculture and exploitation of the surroundings of prehistorical settlements (A. Mueller-Bieniek)