By Rob Peters (auth.)

` a unprecedented e-book mendacity on the interface among ecology and palaeoecology that merits a spot within the forests part of your library.'
The Holocene, 8:4 (1998)

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1. Mean wind speeds (m/s) in lowland stations (altitude < 500 m) in and near the beech ranges in a) eastern North America, b) Europe, and c) eastern Asia (Bryson & Hare, 1974; Wallen, 1970 & 1977; Arakawa, 1969). Beech ranges are shaded. [Mean wind speed is calculated from the average speed during the last 10 minutes per hour]. 42 CHAPTER 4 sites frequently experience days with high wind speeds and may have higher percentage of resistent trees. 1). In general, mean wind speeds range from about 2 to 5 m/s, and do not differ much among continents, but they are highest in the northern ranges of Fagus grandifolia in eastern North America.

In Japan, like in Europe, human interference affected spread and development of beech forests. In China, early development of civilization may have strongly affected species spread and forest development. Especially in the lowlands, many of HISTORY: SPREAD AND SPEC lA nON the original forests have disappeared (Wang, 1961). , 1993). This pollen site is far north from the current range of Fagus in China. Unfavorable climate, too cool or too dry, or human interference may have caused the retreat of Fagus from the Bohai coast.

Today's developments in beech forests can be better understood when evaluated against the background of historical spread of species and forest development. 5 Taxonomy and present ranges The name Fagus has its ongm in the Greek and Roman eras. Phagos is Greek for "glutton", butfagus was used by the Romans to denote the beech tree, referring to the edible nuts. During the Roman period, people differentiated between silvae glandiferae, forests where pigs were fattened on acorns and beechnuts, and silvae vulgaris pascue, the normal pasture forests.

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