1) the disappearance of Sphagnum spp. in the mid 19th century;
2) the replacement of Calluna vulgaris by Poaceae as the dominant vegetation type ca. 1918; and
3) a reduction in vegetation cover and consequent erosion ca. 1959.
The results concur with the findings of other investigations of ecological change in the southern Pennines insofar as degradation of vegetation prior to the mid 20th century appears to have been caused by air pollution, climate change and fire. Following the removal of vegetation by a severe fire during the summer of 1959, unprecedented sheep stocking levels maintained the bare peat surface and thus precipitated extensive erosion.
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