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Forest history, peatland development and mid- to late-Holocene environmental change in the southern taiga forest of central European Russia

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Author(s)

  • Elena Yu Novenko
  • Andrey N Tsyganov
  • Natalia Pisarchuk
  • Elena Volkova
  • Kirill V Babeshko
  • Daniil Kozlov
  • P Shilov
  • Richard John Payne
  • Yuri Mazei
  • Alexander V. Olchev

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Publication details

JournalQUATERNARY RESEARCH
DateAccepted/In press - 21 Sep 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 2 Nov 2017
Early online date2/11/17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Understanding the long-term ecological dynamics of boreal forests is essential for assessment of the possible responses and feedbacks of forest ecosystems to climate change. New data on past forest dynamics and peatland development were obtained from a peat sequence in the southern Valdai Hills (European Russia) based on pollen, plant macrofossil, micro-charcoal, peat humification, and testate amoeba analyses. In terms of vegetation history, the results demonstrate a dominance of broadleaved forests in the study area from 7000 4000 cal yr BP. Picea was initially a minor component of this forest but increased in cover rapidly with climatic cooling beginning at 4000 cal yr BP, becoming the dominant species. Broadleaved species persisted until 900 cal yr, with evidence for intensified felling and forest management over recent centuries. Over the last four hundred years there is evidence for widespread paludification and the establishment of Picea-Sphagnum forests. These data demonstrate how modern wet woodlands have been shaped by a combination of climatic and anthropogenic factors over several millennia. The results also demonstrate the value of a multiproxy approach in understanding long-term forest ecology.

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© University of Washington. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2017. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

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