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  • 1.
    Bigler , Christian
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Von Gunten, L.
    Lotter , A.F.
    Hausmann , S.
    Blass , A.
    Ohlendorf , C.
    Sturm , M.
    Quantifying human-induced eutrophication in Swiss mountain lakes since AD 1800 using diatoms2007In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 17, no 8, p. 1141-1154Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sedimentary diatom assemblages from three lakes in the southeastern Swiss Alps were analysed at high temporal resolution since AD 1800. Altered land-use patterns, increasing population and exploitation through tourism are clearly reflected in annually laminated sediments of Lej da San Murezzan (Lake St Moritz) and Lej da Silvaplauna (Lake Silvaplana). Diatom assemblages originally dominated by Cyclotella taxa are replaced by taxa indicating higher total phosphorus (TP) concentrations, such as Asterionella formosa, Fragilaria crotonensis and Stephanodiscus parvus. In Lej da la Tscheppa, located well above the treeline in a catchment that was hardly exposed to human impact, Cyclotella comensis prevails throughout the entire sediment sequence. Quantitative estimates of past TP concentrations were inferred using a newly developed regional diatom-TP inference model based on 119 modern samples. In Lej da la Tscheppa diatoms imply stable, low TP concentrations (~10 µg/l), which can be considered as natural background concentration. Elevated TP levels are inferred for Lej da San Murezzan (max. 60 µg/l) since AD 1910 and for Lej da Silvaplauna (max. 40 µg/l) since AD 1950, corroborated by changes in sedimentary biogenic silica concentration and organic carbon content. Since ~AD 1970 improved waste water management led to a considerable reduction in TP loading in Lej da Silvaplauna and Lej da San Murezzan.

  • 2.
    Bigler, Christian
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Larocque, Isabelle
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Peglar, S. M.
    Birks, H. J. B.
    Hall, Roland I.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Quantitative multiproxy assessment of long-term patterns of Holocene environmental change from a small lake near Abisko, northern Sweden2002In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 12, no 4, p. 481-496Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Quantitative reconstructions are made of Holocene changes in climatic and environmental conditions from analyses of pollen, chironomids and diatoms in identical stratigraphic levels of a sediment core from Vuoskku-javri (68degrees20'43 N, 19degrees06'00 E, 348 m a.s.l.) near Abisko in northern Sweden (Lapland). Transfer functions, based on regional calibration sets, are applied to reconstruct Holocene patterns in mean July air temperature (using all three indicators). mean January air temperature (pollen), annual precipitation (pollen) and lakewater pH (diatoms). During periods with 'good' fit to the modern calibration sets all mean July air-temperature inferences based on the three proxy indicators reveal a general trend of decreasing temperature: pollen-inferred mean July air temperature shows a decrease of c, 1.1degreesC since 7500 cal. yrs BP; the chironomids show a decrease of c. 1.2degreesC since the early Holocene whereas the diatoms show a decrease of c. 1.5degreesC since 6000 cal. yrs BP. Pollen-inferred mean January air temperature indicates that winters may have been warmer by c. 3.0degreesC during the early Holocene, followed by a gradual cooling until 8500 cal. yrs BP (c. 1.0degreesC warmer than today) and a subsequent warming until 7000 cal. yrs BP (c. 2.0degreesC warmer than today). Since 7000 cal, yrs BP, a gradual cooling towards the present-day values is inferred. According to the pollen, annual precipitation may have been considerably higher during the early Holocene than today (c. +150 mm) and increased until 7000 cal. yrs BP (c. +320 mm). Since 7000 cal. yrs BP, annual precipitation decreased continuously towards present-day values. Diatom-inferred pH trends show that natural acidification of c. 0.5 pH units followed deglaciation; present-day values were reached c. 5000 cal. yrs BP. The early Holocene is identified as a problematic time period for the application of modern calibration sets. as diatoms show 'poor' fit to the calibration set from 10 600 to 6000 cal. yrs BP. pollen from 10 600 to 7500 cal. yrs BP, and chironomids from 10 250 to 10 000 cal. yrs BP. Compared with estimates from the COHMAP GCM model, mean July air-temperature inferences based on biological proxies at Vuoskkujavri suggest a more moderate decrease in temperature over the past 9000 years.

  • 3.
    Cruise, G.M.
    et al.
    Sheffield, UK.
    Macphail, R.I.
    Institute of Archaeology, University College London.
    Linderholm, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Maggi, R.
    Genova, Italy.
    Marshall, P.D.
    Sheffield, UK.
    Lago di Bargone, Liguria, N Italy: a reconstruction of Holocene environmental and land-use history2009In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 19, p. 987-1003Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sediment micromorphology, chemistry and magnetic susceptibility of basin edge deposits at the small, mid-altitude peat site of Lago di Bargone, eastern Liguria, Italy, is compared with a full Holocene palynological sequence and radiocarbon dates from the central part of the peat bog. Micromorphology and MS550 results show that Neolithic to Copper Age forest disturbances and clearings as inferred  from the pollen diagrams, occurred during a period of lower water-tables and intermittent drying out of the basin edge deposits. Extensive deforestation and expansion of heath and rassland during the Iron Age and Roman periods is associated with increases in soil erosion and in micromorphological indications of burning. It is argued that the very fine size range of the charred fragments seen in thin sections and the seeming absence of charcoal of coarser size range suggest a system of light, controlled burning, possibly akin to the local tradition of using fire to control weeds and to encourage new grass and herbaceous growth, and not local forest clearance by fire. Micromorphology of the late-Holocene peat contains herbivore dung possibly indicating the use of the site as a watering hole by domesticated stock. The overlying colluvium displays evidence of deep-seated erosion of the local soils and geology which is most likely to have been associated with local mining activities.

  • 4. Cui, Qiao-Yu
    et al.
    Gaillard, Marie-Jose
    Lemdahl, Geoffrey
    Sugita, Shinya
    Greisman, Annica
    Jacobson, George L.
    Olsson, Fredrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic history. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Regional Science (CERUM).
    The role of tree composition in Holocene fire history of the hemiboreal and southern boreal zones of southern Sweden, as revealed by the application of the Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm: Implications for biodiversity and climate-change issues2013In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 23, no 12, p. 1747-1763Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We present a quantitative reconstruction of local forest history at two sites, Stavsakra (hemiboreal zone) and Storasjo (southern boreal zone), in southern Sweden (province of Smaland) to evaluate possible causes of contrasting Holocene fire histories in mid- and late Holocene. The Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm (LRA) is applied to evaluate between-site differences in the relative abundance of deciduous trees and Pinus (pine) and landscape/woodland openness during the Holocene. The LRA estimates of local vegetation abundance are compared with other proxies of local vegetation, that is, plant and beetle remains. The LRA results suggest that Pinus was a major tree taxon in the woodlands of Storasjo during mid- and late Holocene, while Tilia (linden) and Betula (birch) were dominant at Stavsakra. The contrasting fire histories are shown to be strongly related to between-site differences in tree composition during mid-Holocene, 4000-2000 bc in particular. The archaeological/historical and beetle data indicate contrasting land uses from c. 1000 bc (late Bronze Age/early Iron Age), grazing in open Calluna heaths at Stavsakra and woodland grazing at Storasjo. Between-site differences in fire history during late Holocene were likely due to different land-use practices. Between-site differences in tree composition in mid-Holocene are best explained by local climatic and geological/geomorphological differences between the hemiboreal and southern boreal zones of Smaland, which might also be the primary cause of between-site differences in land-use histories during late Holocene. Maintenance of biodiversity at the landscape scale in the study area requires that existing old pine woodlands and Calluna heath are managed with fire and cattle grazing. Further climate warming might lead to higher probabilities of climate-induces fire, in particular in pine-dominated woodlands.

  • 5.
    Hansson, Sophia V.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Rydberg, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Kylander, Malin
    Gallagher, Kerry
    Bindler, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Evaluating paleoproxies for peat decomposition and their relationship to peat geochemistry2013In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 23, no 12, p. 1666-1667Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The past decade has seen a rapid increase in interest in the biogeochemical record preserved in peat, particularly as it relates to carbon dynamics and environmental change. Importantly, recent studies show that carbon dynamics, that is, organic matter decomposition, can influence the record of atmospherically derived elements such as halogens and mercury. Most commonly, bulk density, light transmission, or carbon/nitrogen (C/N) ratios are used as a proxy to qualitatively infer the degree of decomposition in peat, but do these three proxies reflect the same patterns? Furthermore, how do each of these proxies relate to other geochemical data? To address these questions, we analyzed bulk density, light transmission, and C/N ratios, as well as multielement geochemistry (wavelength-dispersive x-ray fluorescence (WD-XRF)), in three hummock cores (70 cm in length, c. 500 years) from an ombrotrophic Swedish bog. To compare the proxies, we applied principal component analysis (PCA) to identify how the proxies relate to and interact with the geochemical matrix. This was coupled with changepoint modeling to identify and compare statistically significant changes for each proxy. Our results show differences between the proxies within and between cores, indicating each responds to a different part of the decomposition process. This is supported by the PCA, where the three proxies fall on different principal components. Changepoint analysis also showed that the inferred number of changepoints and their depths vary for each proxy and core. This suggests that decomposition is not fully captured by any one of these commonly used proxies, and thus, more than one proxy should be included.

  • 6.
    Hörnberg, Greger
    et al.
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
    Staland, Hanna
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
    Nordström, Eva-Maria
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
    Korsman, Tom
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Segerström, Ulf
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
    Fire as an important factor for the genesis of boreal Picea abies swamp forests in Fennoscandia2012In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 22, no 2, p. 203-214Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The initial establishment of Picea abies in Sweden and Norway on a landscape level, between 3000 and 1000 years ago, was often preceded by recurrent fire and thereafter the influence of fire decreased. However, in some swamp forests, the absence of fire over the last 3500 years has promoted the continuous presence of deciduous trees, i.e. Picea has not established although it has been present regionally for over 3000 years. Our objective was to study long-term vegetation development and fire history in a Picea swamp forest located close (c. 600 m) to a deciduous swamp forest with a documented fire-free history in northernmost Sweden. The study included analyses of charred particles, pollen and ignition residues. Principal component analysis was applied to identify major changes in the pollen spectra. Our results showed that the current Picea swamp forest has developed from a deciduous fen and that fires affected the fen between 6700 and 2300 cal. yr BP. Picea abies established on the fen around 2200 cal. yr BP, following the last local on-site fire. The main factors responsible for the local vegetation development have been: fire (6700 to 2300 cal. yr BP); autogenous processes and climate (2300 to 1000 cal. yr BP); autogenous processes or anthropogenic impact (1000 to 300 cal. yr BP); anthropogenic impact through selective cutting and grazing (300 to 100 cal. yr BP); and autogenous processes and grazing (100 cal. yr BP to present). We conclude that fire facilitated the initial Picea abies establishment. Once established, Picea abies created local conditions that in combination with a colder and wetter climate prevented fire and the establishment of other tree species.

  • 7.
    Karlsson, Jon
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Segerström, Ulf
    Berg, Anna
    Mattielli, Nadine
    Bruxelles, Belgium.
    Bindler, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Tracing modern environmental conditions to their roots in early mining, metallurgy, and settlement in Gladhammar, southeast Sweden: Vegetation and pollution history outside the traditional Bergslagen mining region2015In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 25, no 6, p. 944-955Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We present results from a multidisciplinary project using lake sediment as a natural archive in combination with archaeology to investigate the earliest history of the Gladhammar mining area, southeastern Sweden. The aim was to identify and trace human impacts on the landscape, specifically in connection with settlement and metal production. Sediment records from two lakes linked to different processes in metal production were analyzed; Tjursbosjon down-slope of the mining area and Hyttegol situated downstream of an excavated blast furnace, 1.8km from the mines. The sediment analyses included multi-element geochemistry (WD-XRF), stable lead isotopes, pollen, and charcoal. Although historical documents record activities beginning in AD 1526, the archaeological study found indications that mining and metal production likely predated this period. The known historical period is well reflected in the sediment records, such as a 500-fold increase in copper, stream erosion, loss of forest cover and an expansion in agriculture. More importantly, already in the 12th-13th centuries, there was a 2- to 10-fold increase in lead, copper, and charcoal particles and evidence of erosion linked to the establishment of a blast furnace. Lead isotopes reveal a change from natural conditions to an input of lead from regional ores as early as the 9th-10th centuries. Settlement in the form of agriculture can be seen from 2000 BP. This sediment evidence of early mining or metallurgy during the 9th-15th centuries is supported by a few radiocarbon dates from the excavated mining fields, which on their own were considered as vague or improbable outliers by archaeologists.

  • 8.
    Myrstener, Erik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Biester, Harald
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Lidberg, William
    Meyer-Jacob, Carsten
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Rydberg, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Bindler, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Environmental footprint of small-scale, historical mining and metallurgy in the Swedish boreal forest landscape: The Moshyttan blast furnace as microcosm2019In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 29, no 4, p. 578-591Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The history of mining and smelting and the associated pollution have been documented using lake sediments for decades, but the broader ecological implications are not well studied. We analyzed sediment profiles covering the past similar to 10,000 years from three lakes associated with an iron blast furnace in central Sweden, as an example of the many small-scale furnaces with historical roots in the medieval period. With a focus on long-term lake-water quality, we analyzed multiple proxies including geochemistry, pollen and charcoal, diatom composition and inferred pH, biogenic silica (bSi), visible near-infrared spectroscopy (VNIRS)-inferred lake-water total organic carbon (LW-TOC), and VNIRS-inferred sediment chlorophyll (sed-Chl). All three lakes had stable conditions during the middle Holocene (similar to 5000 BCE to 1110 CE) typical of oligo-dystrophic lakes: pH 5.4-5.6, LW-TOC 15-18 mg L-1. The most important diatom taxa include, for example, Aulacoseira scalaris, Brachysira neoexilis, and Frustulia saxonica. From similar to 1150 CE, decreases in LW-TOC, bSi, and sed-Chl in all three lakes coincide with a suite of proxies indicating disturbance associated with local, small-scale agriculture, and the more widespread use of the landscape in the past (e.g. forest grazing, charcoal production). Most important was a decline in LW-TOC by 30-50% in the three lakes prior to the 20th century. In addition, the one lake (Fickeln) downstream of the smelter and main areas of cultivation experienced a shift in diatom composition (mainly increasing Asterionella formosa) and a 0.6 pH increase coinciding with increasing cereal pollen and signs of blast furnace activity. The pH did not change in the other two lakes in response to disturbance; however, these lakes show a slight increase (0.3-0.5 pH units) because of modern liming. LW-TOC has returned to background levels in the downstream lake and remains lower in the other two.

  • 9. Norström, Elin
    et al.
    Bringensparr, Caroline
    Fitchett, Jennifer M.
    Grab, Stefan W.
    Rydberg, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Kylander, Malin
    Late-Holocene climate and vegetation dynamics in eastern Lesotho highlands2018In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 28, no 9, p. 1483-1494Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The eastern Lesotho highlands are of considerable hydrological importance to southern Africa as a so-called water tower' for the surrounding region. Here, we contribute proxy-data inferring climate and vegetation changes over the past 1600 years, assessing in parallel inorganic and organic chemical analyses on a sediment core from Ladybird wetland, eastern Lesotho. Several proxies were used to determine changes in local vegetation dynamics, productivity, hydrology ((13) C, (15) N, C/N, TOC) and the input and source of the detrital components (Ca/Ti, CIA). The first part of the multi-proxy record (AD 400-800) shows stable terrestrial conditions and low detrital input, followed by higher variability in almost all proxies between ca. AD 900 and 1200. The (13) C record infers a higher proportion of C-4 vegetation, tentatively associated with higher temperatures during this phase, coeval with the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA). After AD 1200, local conditions change gradually from purely terrestrial, towards the typical wetland environment prevailing today. A higher proportion of C-3 plants and possibly an increase in aquatic organisms within the organic matrix corresponds with decreasing detrital input, suggesting locally high available moisture in this part of Lesotho during the Little Ice Age (LIA). Although age-model constraints impedes a robust regional comparison, the inferred climate variability is discussed as a tentative response to enhanced mid-latitude cyclonic activity during LIA, and the variable MCA climate conditions as indirectly dictated by changes in solar activity.

  • 10.
    Rosén, P
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Dabakk, E
    Renberg, Ingemar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Nilsson, M
    Hall, R
    Near-infrared spectrometry (NIRS): a new tool for inferring past climatic changes from lake sediments2000In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 10, no 2, p. 161-166Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study tests the hypothesis that lake sediments contain climate-related information that can be detected by near-infrared spectrometry (NIRS), and that NIRS can be used to infer past climatic changes from analysis of sediment cores. NIRS is a rapid and non-destructive technique that measures attributes of the chemical composition of organic materials. A training set of 76 lakes from northern Sweden, spanning a broad altitudinal gradient, was used to assess whether lake altitude and vegetation zones can be modelled from NIR spectra of surface sediments (0-1 cm) using partial least squares (PLS) regression and soft independent modelling of class analogies (SIMCA) classification. Lake altitude served as a surrogate variable reflecting differences in climatic conditions among sites. After spectral filtering using orthogonal signal correction (OSC), cross-validated predictions explained 86% of the variance in altitude and the prediction error (root mean square error) was 78 m, corresponding to 8.3% of the gradient (390-1250 m above sea level). To evaluate the significance of NIR spectral differences between surface sediments of lakes in different vegetation zones (mountain-birch forest, dwarf shrub and alpine heath), principal component analysis (PCA) models were developed separately for lakes in each vegetation zone. Multivariate classification analysis demonstrated that NIR spectra of surficial sediments differed between lakes located in different vegetation zones. A separate sediment data set from 56 lakes was used to assess sediment ageing effects on NIR signals. Marked similarities between NLR spectra in surface sediments (0-1 cm) and sediments from 1-2 cm depth indicated that degradation of organic material following sediment consolidation resulted in little loss or change of climate-related information. Finally, to assess the ability of NIRS methods to reconstruct past climatic changes over Holocene timescales, we applied the NIRS-altitude model to sediments in a core from a small mountain lake. Estimates of mean July air temperature based on the NIRS-altitude transfer function showed similar trends compared with inferences from chironomids, diatoms and pollen from the same core. Overall, the results indicate that changes in NIR spectra from lake sediments reflect differences in climate, and that NIRS models based on surface-sediment samples can be applied to sediment cores for retrospective analysis.

  • 11.
    Rosén, P
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Segerstrom, U
    Eriksson, L
    Renberg, I
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Birks, H J B
    Holocene climatic change reconstructed from diatoms, chironomids, pollen and near-infrared spectroscopy at an alpine lake (Sjuodjljaure) in northern Sweden2001In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 11, no 5, p. 551-562Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The results of a multiproxy study reconstructing the climate history of the last 9300 years in northern Sweden are presented. It is based on diatom, chironomid and pollen analyses, as well as near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), of a radiocarbon dated sediment core from Sjuodjijaure (67 degrees 22'N, 18 degrees 04'E), situated 100 m above tree-line in the Scandes mountains. Mean July air temperature was reconstructed using transfer functions established for the region. The biological proxies show significant changes in composition during the Holocene and the inferred temperatures all follow the same general trend. For the period between about 9300 to 7300 cal. BP the reconstructions should be interpreted with caution due to the lack of convincing modem analogues in the training set. However the reconstruction suggest that July temperature was on average about the same as today, with several rapid short-term cold and warm periods. Cold periods were dated to about 8500, 8200 and 7600 cal. years BP and a warm period to about 7700 cal. BP. About 7300 cal. BP, a major shift to a warmer climate occurred. Pine migrated into the area, which was previously covered with birch forest. From the mid-Holocene until today the sediment record suggests a descending tree-limit and a gradual lowering of July temperature.

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