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    ABSTRACT: Pollen analyses of sediment cores from two small lakes within the boreal forest in the central Scandes Mountains help to elucidate the Holocene forest dynamics of the region. Analyses of pore/pollen grain diameter ratios of Alnus grains indicate the early Holocene presence of Alnus glutinosa in the study area. The results are discussed in conjunction with available pollen records to evaluate the importance of thermophilous trees during the early Holocene and to deduce the regional spread of Picea abies. Corylus avellana, Alnus glutinosa and Ulmus glabra were probably common constituents of the early Holocene forest. Tilia cordata may have occurred there as a rare tree. Pollen stratigraphies from the region do not indicate the occurrence of Quercus robur. The regional spread of Picea abies can be separated into two phases: a mid-Holocene establishment or first expansion of small outpost populations and a late-Holocene population expansion. The mid-Holocene shift in vegetation composition may have been caused by changes in the westerly airflow.
    Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 01/2005; 14(2):133-147. · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Holocene environmental history and climate are reconstructed for Rtsjen, a low-alpine lake in south-central Norway. The reconstructions are based on chironomids, diatoms, pollen, plant macrofossils, and sediment characteristics. From plant macrofossil evidence, birch trees (Betula pubescens) immigrated ca. 10,000cal BP. The chironomid-inferred mean July air temperature was high, but may be unreliable during the early stages of the lakes history due to the high abundance of Chironomus anthracinus type, a taxon that may include several species. From ca. 9000cal BP the inferred mean July temperature was lower (ca. 9C). Temperatures increased towards 8000cal BP and pine (Pinus sylvestris) reached its upper limit near the lake. July temperature may have become a significant factor controlling long-term pH in the lake, starting shortly after 8000cal BP. High pH values were associated with periods of warm summers and lower pH values occurred during periods of colder summers. Alkalinity processes within the lake and/or the catchment are possible factors controlling this relationship. A temperature decline at ca. 5400cal BP separated two 10.6C temperature maxima around 6400 and 4500cal BP. The 1.5C decline in July air temperatures from ca. 4400cal BP was paralleled by a decrease of pH from 7.2 to 6.8. Following the temperature drop, first pine and then birch trees declined and disappeared from the catchment and organic accumulation in the lake increased. The increased organic accumulation rate had a positive effect on diatom production. At ca. 2700cal BP the temperature reached a minimum (ca. 9.2C) and correspondingly a second pH minimum was reached. Temperature decreased again slightly at ca. 400cal BP during the Little Ice Age, before increasing by about 0.5C towards the present. Percentage organic carbon as estimated by loss-on-ignition appears to be better correlated with chironomid-inferred July temperatures than organic accumulation rates, at least for the last 9000years. Accumulation rates of organic sediments are more coupled with catchment-related processes, such as erosion and major changes in vegetation, than is percentage organic carbon.
    Journal of Paleolimnology 02/2005; 33(2):129-153. · 2.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the Alps, climatic conditions reflected in glacier and rock glacier activity in the earliest Holocene show a strong affinity to conditions in the latest Pleistocene (Younger Dryas). Glacier advances in the Alps related to Younger Dryas cooling led to the deposition of Egesen stadial moraines. Egesen stadial moraines can be divided into three or in some cases even more phases (sub-stadials). Moraines of the earliest and most extended advance, the Egesen maximum, stabilized at 12.2 ± 1.0 ka based on 10Be exposure dating at the Schönferwall (Tyrol, Austria) and the Julier Pass-outer moraine (Switzerland). Final stabilization of moraines at the end of the Egesen stadial was at 11.3 ± 0.9 ka as shown by 10Be data from four sites across the Alps. From west to east the sites are Piano del Praiet (northwestern Italy), Grosser Aletschgletscher (central Switzerland), Julier Pass-inner moraine (eastern Switzerland), and Val Viola (northeastern Italy). There is excellent agreement of the 10Be ages from the four sites. In the earliest Holocene, glaciers in the northernmost mountain ranges advanced at around 10.8 ± 1.1 ka as shown by 10Be data from the Kartell site (northern Tyrol, Austria). In more sheltered, drier regions rock glacier activity dominated as shown, for example, at Julier Pass and Larstig valley (Tyrol, Austria). New 10Be dates presented here for two rock glaciers in Larstig valley indicate final stabilization no later than 10.5 ± 0.8 ka. Based on this data, we conclude the earliest Holocene (between 11.6 and about 10.5 ka) was still strongly affected by the cold climatic conditions of the Younger Dryas and the Preboreal oscillation, with the intervening warming phase having had the effect of rapid downwasting of Egesen glaciers. At or slightly before 10.5 ka rapid shrinkage of glaciers to a size smaller than their late 20th century size reflects markedly warmer and possibly also drier climate. Between about 10.5 ka and 3.3 ka conditions in the Alps were not conducive to significant glacier expansion except possibly during rare brief intervals. Past tree-line data from Kaunertal (Tyrol, Austria) in concert with radiocarbon and dendrochronologically dated wood fragments found recently in the glacier forefields in both the Swiss and Austrian Alps points to long periods during the Holocene when glaciers were smaller than they were during the late 20th century. Equilibrium line altitudes (ELA) were about 200 m higher than they are today and about 300 m higher in comparison to Little Ice Age (LIA) ELAs. The Larstig rock glacier site we dated with 10Be is the type area for a postulated mid-Holocene cold period called the Larstig oscillation (presumed age about 7.0 ka). Our data point to final stabilization of those rock glaciers in the earliest Holocene and not in the middle Holocene. The combined data indicate there was no time window in the middle Holocene long enough for rock glaciers of the size and at the elevation of the Larstig site to have formed. During the short infrequent cold oscillations between 10.5 and 3.3 ka small glaciers (less than several km2) may have advanced to close to their LIA dimensions. Overall, the cold periods were just too short for large glaciers to advance. After 3.3 ka, climate conditions became generally colder and warm periods were brief and less frequent. Large glaciers (for example Grosser Aletschgletscher) advanced markedly at 3.0–2.6 ka, around 600 AD and during the LIA. Glaciers in the Alps attained their LIA maximum extents in the 14th, 17th, and 19th centuries, with most reaching their greatest LIA extent in the final 1850/1860 AD advance.
    Quaternary Science Reviews 10/2009; · 4.57 Impact Factor

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