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High mountain region of the Northern Romanian Carpathians responded sensitively to Holocene climate and land use changes : A multi-proxy analysis

Geantă, A, Gałka, M, Tanţău, I, Hutchinson, SM, Mîndrescu, M and Feurdean, A 2014, 'High mountain region of the Northern Romanian Carpathians responded sensitively to Holocene climate and land use changes : A multi-proxy analysis' , The Holocene, 24 (8) , pp. 944-956.

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Abstract

A high-altitude lake sediment sequence (Buhăiescu Mare, 1918 m a.s.l.) in the subalpine zone of the Rodna Mountains was analysed through a multi-proxy approach to determine the sensitivity of high mountain habitats to climate, fire and land use changes. The early Holocene regional forests were dominated by Pinus (sylvestris and mugo) and replaced by Picea abies from 9800 cal. yr BP. After an extended hiatus in the profile (c. 9800–4200 cal. yr BP), probably because of the physical removal of sediments through avalanche or high-flow events, P. abies, Abies alba and Fagus sylvatica forests developed after 4200 cal. yr BP. The timberline and treeline reacted sensitively to past changes in climate and human impact. The site was probably situated above the treeline throughout most of the investigated period. However, a treeline ecotone or krummholz zone may have sporadically reached the lake’s elevation in the early Holocene. A decline in timberline and treeline elevation was noted during the last 1200 years, and more evidently over the past 200 years, with replacement by subalpine shrubs (Alnus viridis) and alpine herbaceous communities. Because these vegetation changes were associated with an increased prevalence of pollen-based anthropogenic indicators, charcoal particles and abiotic indicators, human-induced fires and clearance and resultant erosion inputs to the lake are implied. Effects of current warming on the altitude range of trees are not yet visible, probably because land use has more strongly contributed to changes in land cover than the climate fluctuations of the last millennium in the Rodna Mountains.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: The Holocene
Publisher: Sage
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0959-6836
Related URLs:
Funders: Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research
Depositing User: Dr Simon M. Hutchinson
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2015 14:21
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2015 11:40
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/35157

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