Infoscience

Journal article

Holocene history of Lac des Lauzons (2180 m a.s.l.), reconstructed from multiproxy analyses of Coleoptera, plant macroremains and pollen (Hautes-Alpes, France)

A 1.70 m core extracted from the Lac des Lauzons, Haut Champsaur, French Alps, at 2180 m altitude, provided a detailed Holocene record of beetles, pollen and plant macrofossils, enabling the reconstruction of local palaeoenvironmental changes during the last 10 000 years. After an early phase of colonization by plants and insects, corresponding to the Lateglacial interstadial, a long phase of relative stability of the ecosystems (at least in the vicinity of the lake) is recorded. Strikingly, there is no evidence from beetle and plant macrofossils that the treeline reached the altitude of Lauzons during the Holocene climate optimum, although this period is characterized by major forest expansion in many high-altitude sites in the southern French Alps. The uppermost part of the record is blurred by the infilling of the lake, progressively turning into a peat bog. This sequence also provides an opportunity to compare the records of coprophilous fungal spores and coprophilous beetles and to improve the interpretation of these proxies in terms of their significance as proxies for pastoralism.

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