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The effects of population growth on Ecosystem services in lake Ekoln: A multi-proxy data analysis of a lake core and historical records.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Throughout human history man has utilized the environment to varying degrees, depending on technology and population. These ¨ecosystem services¨ have suffered sustained degradation over the centuries, resulting in large investments having to be made to prevent and reverse further changes to the environment. Few studies have attempted to quantitatively compare how these changes, occurring long before modern environmental monitoring programs started, affected important ecosystem services such as species diversity, water quality, carbon burial and soil stability. The aims of this study were to i) assess whether human impact on ecosystem services have varied over time in perspective of relative change, and ii) to assess the individual (per capita) contributions. I used multiple sediment proxies from a 6 m C¹⁴-dated core collected from lake Ekoln, South-Central Sweden, to reconstruct environmental changes while tracking the population growth in the city of Uppsala during the last ten centuries. Through the use of pollen and diatom assemblages I reconstructed the changing terrestrial and aquatic diversities over time, while sediment accumulation rates and the X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy of the sediment was used to reconstruct soil stability, carbon burial and water quality, respectively. In the latter case, sediment phosphorus concentrations were used as a proxy for freshwater eutrophication while metals (mercury and lead) were used to infer inputs of toxic pollutants. Finally, I normalized (z) all data to create meta-data. The z-values and reconstructed population for Uppsala made it possible to differentiate 5 unique time periods based on anthropogenic induced change, which were not previously visible in the data, and all of which have been linked to the most likely historical causes, including the Black Death. The results show that the most significant anthropogenic impacts in terms of pollution volume occurred in the 1960s, while the period from 1200-1500 AD saw the most significant environmental change in terms per head of capita, most likely caused by the shift from woodland to open landscape through twiddening, a process of burning forest to create agricultural land, prior to 1500 AD. Moreover, rapid recovery is visible after the implementation of environmental policies from the 1970s onwards.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 38 p.
Keyword [en]
Ecosystem services, Population growth, Species diversity, Water quality, Environmental reconstruction.
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-128822OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-128822DiVA: diva2:1056782
Subject / course
Examensarbete i Geovetenskap/naturgeografi avseende masterexamen
Educational program
Master's Programme in Geoecology
Presentation
2016-10-31, KB5C2, KBC building, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Note

Full surname: Kilpatrick van Houte

Available from: 2016-12-16 Created: 2016-12-15 Last updated: 2016-12-16Bibliographically approved

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fulltext(1392 kB)34 downloads
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf