Publication details

A complex insight into the Late Quaternary history of Bohemian‑Moravian Highlands summit

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Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Folia Geobotanica
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Macrofossils; Peat; Pollen diversity; Radiocarbon dating; Transfer function; Vegetation succession
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Description Peat is an important archive allowing the reconstruction of past mire environments and surrounding vegetation. The Pihoviny site, one of the oldest peat deposits in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands, was analysed for macrofossils and pollen and compared with other profles in the region. The local mire development started in the Late Glacial as sedge-moss quaking fen with tundra elements characterised by high mineral richness and groundwater level. During the Early Holocene, it developed through the rich fen with hummocks, willow and reed stage to the waterlogged spruce forest, which persisted for thousands of years until the post-mediaeval deforestation. The recent mire vegetation developed 300 years ago due to human-induced deforestation. Further, we revealed high regional synchronicity among pollen profles in the Early-Holocene (10,000– 9000 cal BP), when open-canopy pine-birch forests transformed into closed-canopy deciduous forests due to climate improvement. Contrary, the LateHolocene transformation to beech-fr forests was not synchronous, suggesting another driver than climate, likely human activities. Although pollen of both latesuccessional trees occurred since the Early Holocene, their expansion began much later, 5500–3500 (beech) and 3500–2500 cal BP (fr). Numerous spruce macrofossils suggest its pollen’s local origin in the waterlogged spruce forest. Our results support the need for active management to sustain open mire vegetation and prevent spontaneous forest regrowth, recently boosted by climate warming. Palaeoecological analyses reconstructed a mosaic of waterlogged spruce and terrestrial beech-fr forests in the landscape, which should be restored to increase forest resistance against bark-beetle breakdowns and other disturbances in future.
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