The Late Glacial and Holocene development of vegetation in the area of a fossil lake in the Skaliska Basin (north-eastern Poland) inferred from pollen analysis and radiocarbon dating
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Department of Biogeography and Palaeoecology, Faculty of Geographical and Geological Science, Adam Mickiewicz University, Dzięgielowa 27, 61-680 Poznań, Poland
Department of Botany, Institute of Biology, University of Białystok, Świerkowa 20b, 15-950 Białystok, Poland
Jagiellonian University, Institute of Botany, Department of Palaeobotany and Palaeoherbarium, Lubicz 46, 31-512 Kraków, Poland
Polish Geological Institute – National Research Institute, Rakowiecka 4, 00-975 Warszawa, Poland
W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Lubicz 46, 31-512 Kraków, Poland
Online publication date: 2013-06-26
Publication date: 2013-06-26
Acta Palaeobotanica 2013; 53(1): 23–52
The development of vegetation in the Skaliska Basin has been reconstructed on the basis of palynological analysis and radiocarbon dating (AMS technique) of 6 sites from the late phase of the Bølling- Allerød interstadial complex to modern times. Although the area covers 90 km2, the mosaic character of habitats led to the development of different patterns of vegetation changes during the Late Glacial and Holocene. Only one site located in the eastern part of the Skaliska Basin refl ected the ‘pine phase’ of Allerød, and this is the oldest data on vegetation in the Skaliska Basin. Interesting discrepancies were recorded during the Younger Dryas when patches of shrublands with Juniperus were distinct around some of the sites, while steppe with Artemisia was common in others. The beginning of the Holocene brought an expansion of birch-pine forest, but around 9600 cal. BC a cold oscillation took place which was refl ected in an increase in birch in the woodlands in the western and eastern part of the Skaliska Basin. In the Preboreal chronozone elm (Ulmus) also expanded in the area but its appearance was non-synchronous. The vegetation of the Boreal chronozone was similar in the whole area and the most characteristic feature was the rapid expansion of hazel (Corylus avellana) which displaced Betula from the most of its sites. At that time a distinct redeposition of pollen material in the Parchatka river valley was detected which was probably the effect of an increase in fl uvial activity of the river (humid oscillation). The following stage of vegetation development was climax woodlands with Tilia cordata, Ulmus, Quercus, Corylus avellana, and Alnus in damp places. At the beginning of the Subboreal chronozone the expansion of Quercus took place, which was subsequently replaced by Picea abies and partly Carpinus betulus. The pattern of Picea abies expansion distinctly presents two maxima which is characteristic of many sites in the north-eastern Poland. The Subatlantic chronozone is represented only by the profi le from the Skaliski Forest, where, because of sandy ground, Pinus sylvestris was the dominant element. Human impact was poorly refl ected through the rare occurrence of pollen grains of Cerealia type in the pollen profi les spanning the time from the Subboreal chronozone to modern times. In most profi les AMS dating produced age discrepancies, which limited the possibility of establishment of a detailed chronology. However, dates obtained from the material contaminated by mixture of glycerine, thymol and ethyl alcohol, pretreated by alcohol, showed reliable results in most cases.