Unveiling exceptional Baltic bog ecohydrology, autogenic succession and climate change during the last 2000 years in CE Europe using replicate cores, multi-proxy data and functional traits of testate amoebae

We present the results of high-resolution, multi-proxy palaeoecological investigations of two parallel peat cores from the Baltic raised bog Mechacz Wielki in NE Poland. We aim to evaluate the role of regional climate and autogenic processes of the raised bog itself in driving the vegetation and hydrology dynamics. Based on partly synchronous changes in Sphagnum communities in the two study cores we suggest that extrinsic factors (climate) played an important role as a driver in mire development during the bog stage (500-2012 CE). Using a testate amoebae transfer function, we found exceptionally stable hydrological conditions during the last 2000 years with a relatively high water table and lack of local fire events that allowed for rapid peat accumulation (2.75 mm/year) in the bog. Further, the strong correlation between pH and community-weighted mean of testate amoeba traits suggests that other variables than water-table depth play a role in driving microbial properties under stable hydrological conditions. There is a difference in hydrological dynamics in bogs between NW and NE Poland until ca 1500 CE, after which the water table reconstructions show more similarities. Our results illustrate how various functional traits relate to different environmental variables in a range of trophic and hydrological scenarios on long time scales. Moreover, our data suggest a common regional climatic forcing in Mechacz Wielki, Gazwa and Kontolanrahka. Though it may still be too early to attempt a regional summary of wetness change in the southern Baltic region, this study is a next step to better understand the long-term peatland palaeohydrology in NE Europe. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Published in:
Quaternary Science Reviews, 156, 90-106
Oxford, Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

 Record created 2017-03-27, last modified 2019-08-29

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