The postglacial history of vegetation at a regional scale is mainly governed by climate. However, the action of other environmental factors can lead to differentiation of the long-term vegetation dynamics in locations that are in proximity. In this context, the vegetation history of Covey Hill, at the northern tip of the Adirondack Mountains, was reconstructed using pollen analysis of a sediment core collected in a bog near the hilltop. This history was then compared with that of other sites in the Adirondacks, in the St. Lawrence Lowlands and in the Appalachian foothills to determine whether differentiations had occurred between sites across the landscape. Regionally, climate seems to have been the main driver of vegetation development. Differences between sites are most pronounced in regard to relative abundance of aspen and alder, and mostly occurred during the Late Glacial and early Holocene. Unlike other sites, fires occurred frequently on Covey Hill for several millennia, and most probably allowed the long-term maintenance of a rare pine barren. Finally, drier conditions are probably partly responsible for the hemlock decline evident around 5100 cal BP.
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Vol. 22 • No. 1