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  • 1.
    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.

  • 2.
    Myrstener, Erik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Lidberg, William
    Segerstrom, Ulf
    Biester, Harald
    Damell, David
    Bindler, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Was Moshyttan the earliest iron blast furnace in Sweden?: The sediment record as an archeological toolbox2016In: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, ISSN 2352-409X, E-ISSN 2001-1199, Vol. 5, p. 35-44Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recently, archeological study of the establishment and spread of iron blast furnace technology in Sweden has suggested a phase of rapid expansion from AD 1150 to 1350, mainly in the historically important "Bergslagen" region in central Sweden. But the geographical extent and earliest development remains debated. One archeological investigation of Moshyttan, in the less studied western part of Bergslagen, suggested that it may have been established before 1150. To independently study the timing of blast furnace establishment at Moshyttan, and also the vegetation history of the area, we performed a multiproxy analysis of the sediment record from Fickeln, a small lake immediately downstream of the smelter site. We present radiocarbon dating (macrofossils and bulk sediment), pollen, charcoal particles and geochemistry. To establish a reliable age depth model, ages of the bulk samples were corrected for old carbon and the model was validated by comparison to chronological markers (immigration of Picea abies and airborne lead-pollution) in other lakes with varved or otherwise robust chronologies. Based on markedly increasing lead concentrations, decreases in the Pb-206/Pb-207 ratio towards values resembling Bergslagen ores, increasing charcoal particle counts and increases in iron and zinc concentrations, the establishment of the blast furnace is estimated to AD 1250-1300 with an age-depth model probability of 91%. This places the establishment of the blast furnace at Moshyttan within the known period of early expansion of iron blast furnaces in Sweden, rather than earlier as suggested by the earliest dates from the archeological study. The first signs of a human presence in the area can be seen in pollen associated with forest grazing from ca. 170 BC, and the first signs of cultivation appear ca. AD 1020, preceding the blast furnace by 200 years.

  • 3.
    Olajos, Fredrik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Bokma, Folmer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Bartels, Pia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Myrstener, Erik
    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.
    Öhlund, Gunnar
    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.
    Wang, Xiao-Ru
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Zale, Rolf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Englund, Göran
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Estimating species colonization dates using DNA in lake sediment2018In: Methods in Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2041-210X, E-ISSN 2041-210X, Vol. 9, no 3, p. 535-543Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]
    1. Detection of DNA in lake sediments holds promise as a tool to study processes like extinction, colonization, adaptation and evolutionary divergence. However, low concentrations make sediment DNA difficult to detect, leading to high false negative rates. Additionally, contamination could potentially lead to high false positive rates. Careful laboratory procedures can reduce false positive and negative rates, but should not be assumed to completely eliminate them. Therefore, methods are needed that identify potential false positive and negative results, and use this information to judge the plausibility of different interpretations of DNA data from natural archives.
    2. We developed a Bayesian algorithm to infer the colonization history of a species using records of DNA from lake-sediment cores, explicitly labelling some observations as false positive or false negative. We illustrate the method by analysing DNA of whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus L.) from sediment cores covering the past 10,000 years from two central Swedish lakes. We provide the algorithm as an R-script, and the data from this study as example input files.
    3. In one lake, Stora Lögdasjön, where connectivity with the proto-Baltic Sea and the degree of whitefish ecotype differentiation suggested colonization immediately after deglaciation, DNA was indeed successfully recovered and amplified throughout the post-glacial sediment. For this lake, we found no loss of detection probability over time, but a high false negative rate. In the other lake, Hotagen, where connectivity and ecotype differentiation suggested colonization long after deglaciation, DNA was amplified only in the upper part of the sediment, and colonization was estimated at 2,200 bp based on the assumption that successful amplicons represent whitefish presence. Here the earliest amplification represents a false positive with a posterior probability of 41%, which increases the uncertainty in the estimated time of colonization.
    4. Complementing careful laboratory procedures aimed at preventing contamination, our method estimates contamination rates from the data. By combining these results with estimates of false negative rates, our models facilitate unbiased interpretation of data from natural DNA archives.
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