10,000 years of change: The Holocene entomofauna of the British Isles

Mark H. Dinnin*, Jonathan P. Sadler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The fossil insect evidence for large scale and dramatic changes in the British landscape over the last 10,000 years is reviewed. Five main phases in the development of the British entomofauna are considered in detail: (i) Early Holocene warming and environments, (ii) afforestation, (iii) the maximum 'Urwald', (iv) deforestation and (v) the creation of the 'culture-steppe'. These changes are discussed in terms of the interplay between ecological, climatic and human-induced changes to the environment. The fossil record indicates that during this process at least 44 species of invertebrateS found in mature woodland, wetland and species rich grassland are no longer recorded in the UK. Increased habitat fragmentation as a result of human activity, perhaps against the backdrop of subtle climate change, is seen as the main cause of these losses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-562
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1999


  • Climate
  • Coleoptera
  • Entomofauna
  • Extinction
  • Habitat change
  • Holocene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Palaeontology


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