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  • 1. Adolf, Carole
    et al.
    Wunderle, Stefan
    Colombaroli, Daniele
    Weber, Helga
    Gobet, Erika
    Heiri, Oliver
    van Leeuwen, Jacqueline F. N.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Connor, Simon E.
    Galka, Mariusz
    La Mantia, Tommaso
    Makhortykh, Sergey
    Svitavska-Svobodova, Helena
    Vanniere, Boris
    Tinner, Willy
    The sedimentary and remote-sensing reflection of biomass burning in Europe2018In: Global Ecology and Biogeography, ISSN 1466-822X, E-ISSN 1466-8238, Vol. 27, no 2, p. 199-212Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: We provide the first European-scale geospatial training set relating the charcoal signal in surface lake sediments to fire parameters (number, intensity and area) recorded by satellite moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors. Our calibration is intended for quantitative reconstructions of key fire-regime parameters by using sediment sequences of microscopic (MIC from pollen slides, particles 10-500 mu m) and macroscopic charcoal (MAC from sieves, particles > 100 mu m). Location: North-south and east-west transects across Europe, covering the mediterranean, temperate, alpine, boreal and steppe biomes. Time period: Lake sediments and MODIS active fire and burned area products were collected for the years 2012-2015. Methods: Cylinder sediment traps were installed in lakes to annually collect charcoal particles in sediments. We quantitatively assessed the relationships between MIC and MAC influx (particles/cm(2)/year) and the MODIS-derived products to identify source areas of charcoal and the extent to which lake-sediment charcoal is linked to fire parameters across the continent. Results: Source area of sedimentary charcoal was estimated to a 40-km radius around sites for both MIC and MAC particles. Fires occurred in grasslands and in forests, with grass morphotypes of MAC accurately reflecting the burned fuel-type. Despite the lack of local fires around the sites, MAC influx levels reached those reported for local fires. Both MIC and MAC showed strong and highly significant relationships with the MODIS-derived fire parameters, as well as with climatic variation along a latitudinal temperature gradient. Main conclusions: MIC and MAC are suited to quantitatively reconstructing fire number and fire intensity on a regional scale. However, burned area may only be estimated using MAC. Local fires may be identified by using several lines of evidence, e.g. analysis of large particles (> 600 mu m), magnetic susceptibility and sedimentological data. Our results offer new insights and applications to quantitatively reconstruct fires and to interpret available sedimentary charcoal records.

  • 2. Ampel, Linda
    et al.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Wohlfarth, Barbara
    Risberg, Jan
    Lotter, André F
    Veres, Daniel
    Modest summer temperature variability during DO cycles in western Europe2010In: Quaternary Science Reviews, ISSN 0277-3791, E-ISSN 1873-457X, Vol. 29, no 11/12, p. 1322-1327Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abrupt climatic shifts between cold stadials and warm interstadials, termed Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) cycles, occurred frequently during the Last Glacial. Their imprint is registered in paleorecords worldwide, but little is known about the actual temperature change both annually and seasonally in different regions. A recent hypothesis based on modelling studies, suggests that DO cycles were characterised by distinct changes in seasonality in the Northern Hemisphere. The largest temperature change between stadial and interstadial phases would have occurred during the winter and spring seasons, whereas the summer seasons would have experienced a rather muted temperature shift. Here we present a temporally high-resolved reconstruction of summer temperatures for eastern France during a sequence of DO cycles between 36 and 18 thousand years before present. The reconstruction is based on fossil diatom assemblages from the paleolake Les Echets and indicates summer temperature changes of ca 0.5–2 °C between stadials and interstadials. This study is the first to reconstruct temperatures with a sufficient time resolution to investigate DO climate variability in continental Europe. It is therefore also the first proxy record that can test and support the hypothesis that temperature changes during DO cycles were modest during the summer season.

  • 3.
    Arnqvist, Per
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Renberg, Ingemar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Sjöstedt de Luna, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics.
    Functional clustering of varved lake sediment to reconstruct past seasonal climate2016In: Environmental and Ecological Statistics, ISSN 1352-8505, E-ISSN 1573-3009, Vol. 23, no 4, p. 513-529Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Annually laminated (varved) lake sediments constitutes excellent environmental archives, and have the potential to play an important role for understanding past seasonal climate with their inherent annual time resolution and within-year seasonal patterns. We propose to use functional data analysis methods to extract the relevant information with respect to climate reconstruction from the rich but complex information in the varves, including the shapes of the seasonal patterns, the varying varve thickness, and the non-linear sediment accumulation rates. In particular we analyze varved sediment from lake Kassjon in northern Sweden, covering the past 6400 years. The properties of each varve reflect to a large extent weather conditions and internal biological processes in the lake the year that the varve was deposited. Functional clustering is used to group the seasonal patterns into different types, that can be associated with different weather conditions. The seasonal patterns were described by penalized splines and clustered by the k-means algorithm, after alignment. The observed (within-year) variability in the data was used to determine the degree of smoothing for the penalized spline approximations. The resulting clusters and their time dynamics show great potential for seasonal climate interpretation, in particular for winter climate changes.

  • 4. Battarbee, R.W.
    et al.
    Charles, D.F.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Cumming, B.F.
    Renberg, Ingemar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Diatoms as indicators of surface-water acidity2010In: The Diatoms: Applications for the Environmental and Earth Sciences / [ed] Smol, J. P. & Stoermer, E. F., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, 2., p. 98-121Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Lake acidification became an environmental issue of international significance in the late 1960s and early 1970s when Scandinavian scientists claimed that ‘acid rain’ was the principal reason why fish populations had declined dramatically in Swedish and Norwegian lakes (Odén, 1968; Jensen & Snekvik, 1972; Almer et al., 1974). Similar claims were being made at about the same time in Canada (Beamish & Harvey, 1972). However, these claims were not immediately accepted by all scientists. It was argued instead that acidification was due to natural factors or to changes in catchment land-use and management (Rosenqvist 1977, 1978; Pennington 1984; Krug & Frink, 1983).

    In the scientific debate that followed, diatom analysis played a pivotal role. It enabled the timing and extent of lake acidification to be reconstructed (Charles et al., 1989; Battarbee et al., 1990; Dixit et al., 1992a) and allowed the various competing hypotheses concerning the causes of lake acidification to be evaluated (Battarbee et al., 1985; Battarbee & Charles 1994; Emmett et al., 1994). However, diatoms had been recognized and used as indicators of water pH well before the beginning of this controversy. The ‘acid rain’ issue served to highlight the importance of diatoms and stimulated the advance of more robust and sophisticated techniques, especially the development of transfer functions for reconstructing lakewater pH and related hydrochemical variables.

    This chapter outlines the history of diatoms as pH indicators, and describes how diatoms are currently used in studies of acid and acidified waters.

  • 5.
    Bergström, Ann-Kristin
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Stensdotter, U.
    Lindström, E.S.
    Composition and dispersal of riverine and lake phytoplankton communities in connected systems with different water retention times2008In: Freshwater Biology, Vol. 53, p. 2520–2529-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    1. Lake phytoplankton community structure may be influenced by both internal factors (predation, competition, resource constraints) and external ones, such as dispersal of materials and cells between connected habitats. However, little is known about the importance of cell dispersal for phytoplankton community structure in lakes.

    2. We investigated the abundance and dispersal of phytoplankton cells between connected rivers and lakes, and analysed whether similarities in phytoplankton community composition between rivers and lakes were primarily related to cell import rates or to characteristics of the local habitat. We focused on lakes along a gradient of theoretical water retention times (TWRT). Two data sets from Swedish lakes were used; a seasonal study of two connected boreal forest lakes, differing in TWRT, and a multi-lake study of 13 lakes with a continuous range of TWRTs.

    3. Phytoplankton cells were transported and dispersed in all investigated rivers. In the seasonal study, cell import rates and similarities in phytoplankton community composition between the lake and its inlet(s) were much higher in the lake with a shorter TWRT. Phytoplankton community structure in different habitats was associated with total organic carbon (TOC). This indicates that local habitat characteristics may be important in determining lake phytoplankton community composition, even in the presence of substantial cell import.

    4. The multi-lake study also showed a negative relationship between TWRT and similarities in phytoplankton community composition between inlets and lakes. Moreover, similarity in community structure was related to both cell import rates from inlet to lake and differences in habitat characteristics between inlet and lake. However, the variable most strongly correlated with community structure was TOC, indicating that species sorting rather than a mass effect was the most important mechanism underlying the correlation between community structure and retention time.

    5. Overall, our data suggest that local habitat characteristics may play a key role in determining community similarity in this set of lakes covering a large range of habitat connectedness. Due to the strong co-variations between cell dispersal and TOC, it was hard to unequivocally disentangle the different mechanisms; hence, there is a need for further studies of the role of dispersal for phytoplankton community structures.

  • 6.
    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.

  • 7.
    Bigler, Christian
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Barnekow, L
    Heinrichs, M L
    Hall, R I
    Holocene environmental history of Lake Vuolep Njakajaure (AbiskoNational Park, northern Sweden) reconstructed using biologicalproxy indicators2006In: Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, ISSN 0939-6314, E-ISSN 1617-6278, Vol. 15, no 4, p. 309-320Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]
    Abstract  Holocene environmental and climatic changes are reconstructed using analyses of biological proxies in lake sediments from Vuolep Njakajaure, a lake located near the altitudinal treeline in northern Sweden (68°20′ N, 18°47′ E). We analysed biological proxy indicators from both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, including diatoms, pollen and chironomid head capsules, in order to reconstruct regional Holocene climate and the development of the lake and its catchment. During the early Holocene and after 2500 cal b.p., Fragilaria taxa dominated the diatom assemblages, whereas planktonic Cyclotella taxa prevailed during the major part of the Holocene (7800–2300 cal b.p.), indicating the importance of the pelagic habitat for diatom assemblage composition. The planktonic diatoms appeared at the same time as Alnus became established in the catchment, probably altering nutrient availability and catchment stability. The pollen record is dominated by mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. tortuosa) pollen throughout the Holocene, but high percentage abundances of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) pollen suggest the presence of a mixed pine-birch forest during the mid-Holocene (6800–2300 cal b.p.). Head capsules of Tanytarsini and Psectrocladius dominated the chironomid assemblage composition throughout the Holocene, in combination with Corynocera ambigua after 2300 cal b.p. A quantitative, diatom-based reconstruction of mean July air temperature indicated a relatively cold temperature during the early Holocene (9000–8000 cal b.p.) and after ca. 2300 cal b.p., whereas the mid-Holocene period is characterised by stable and warm temperatures. The overall patterns of Holocene climate and environmental conditions are similarly described by all biological proxy-indicators, suggesting relatively warm conditions during the mid-Holocene (ca. 7800–2300 cal b.p.), with a subsequent colder climate after 2300 cal b.p. However, the onset and magnitude of the inferred changes differ slightly among the proxies, illustrating different responses to lake development phases, land-uplift, and climate forcing (e.g., insolation patterns) during the Holocene in northern Sweden.
  • 8.
    Bigler, Christian
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Grahn, E.
    Larocque, I.
    Jeziorski, A.
    Hall, Roland
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Holocene environmental change at Lake Njulla (999 m asl), northern Sweden: a comparison with four small nearby lakes along an altitudinal gradient2003In: Journal of Paleolimnology, ISSN 0921-2728, E-ISSN 1573-0417, Vol. 29, no 1, p. 13-29Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We assess Holocene environmental change at alpine Lake Njulla (68degrees22'N, 18degrees42'E, 999 m a.s.l.) in northernmost Sweden using sedimentary remains of chironomid head capsules and diatoms. We apply regional calibration sets to quantitatively reconstruct mean July air temperature (using chironomids and diatoms) and lake-water pH (using diatoms). Both chironomids and diatoms infer highest temperatures (1.7-2.3degreesC above present-day estimates, including, a correction for glacio-isostatic land up-lift by 0.6degreesC) during the early Holocene (c. 9,500-8,500 cal. yrs BP). Diatoms suggest a decreasing lake-water pH trend (c. 0.6 pH units) since the early Holocene. Using detrended canonical correspondence analysis (DCCA), we compare the Holocene development of diatom communities in Lake Njulla with four other nearby lakes (Lake 850, Lake Tibetanus, Vuoskkujavri, Vuolep Njakajaure) located along an altitudinal gradient. All five lakes show similar initial DCCA scores after deglaciation, suggesting that similar environmental processes such as high erosion rates and low light availability associated with high summer temperature appear to have regulated the diatom community, favouring high abundances of Fragilaria species. Subsequently, the diatom assemblages develop in a directional manner, but timing and scale of development differ substantially between lakes. This is attributed primarily to differences in the local geology, which is controlling the lake-water pH. Imposed on the basic geological setting, site-specific processes such as vegetation development, climate, hydrological setting and in-lake processes appear to control lake development in northern Sweden.

  • 9.
    Bigler, Christian
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Gälman, Veronika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Renberg, Ingemar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Numerical simulations suggest that counting sums and taxonomic resolution of diatom analyses to determine IPS pollution and ACID acidity indices can be reduced2010In: Journal of Applied Phycology, ISSN 0921-8971, E-ISSN 1573-5176, Vol. 22, no 5, p. 541-548Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Implementation of the European Union Water Framework Directive and associated national guidelines has emphasized the value of using biota, such as epilithic diatoms in streams, as indicators of water quality. However, guidelines for evaluating diatom samples have been established without explicitly evaluating their statistical robustness. We used epilithic diatom samples from 73 streams in northern Sweden and simulated the effects of variations in the counting sum size and taxonomic resolution of classifications for two indices indicating pollution (Indice de Polluo-sensibilité Spécifique, IPS) and acidity (acidity index for diatoms, ACID). Instead of the stipulated 400, we found that a count sum of 40 diatom valves for 50 streams, and 80 valves for 60 streams, would have been sufficient to obtain the same IPS index classification. The ACID index is more sensitive to count sum reductions, since the same classification would only have been obtained for 12 streams with 40 counted diatom valves or 24 streams with a count of 80 valves. Excluding rare taxa had negligible effects on the IPS and ACID indices. Excluding taxa occurring with less than 1.0% frequency affected the IPS classification of only one stream, and excluding taxa with less than 2.5% and 5.0% frequencies affected those of just one and no streams, respectively. The ACID index was affected for none, five, and 12 streams, respectively. At least in relatively unpolluted regions such as northern Sweden, our simulations suggest that a simplified methodological approach with site-specific counting sum sizes and reduced taxonomical resolution could be adopted, taking into account the way sites are classified in relation to established class boundaries. The simplified method is a step forward in improving the cost efficiency for stream monitoring, as costs of diatom analysis to obtain identical IPS and ACID classifications of our streams could be reduced considerably. Before the simplified method can be widely adopted, further simulations including regions with a higher proportion of polluted streams are required.

  • 10.
    Bigler, Christian
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Hall, Roland I
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Diatoms as indicators of climatic and limnological change in Swedish Lapland: A 100-lake calibration set and its validation for paleoecological reconstructions2002In: Journal of Paleolimnology, ISSN 0921-2728, E-ISSN 1573-0417, Vol. 27, no 1, p. 97-115Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigated the distribution of subfossil diatom assemblages in surficial sediments of 100 lakes along steep ecological and climatic gradients in northernmost Sweden (Abisko region, 67.07degrees N to 68.48degrees N latitude, 17.67degrees E to 23.52degrees E longitude) to develop and cross-validate transfer functions for paleoenvironmental reconstruction. Of 19 environmental variables determined for each site, 15 were included in the statistical analysis. Lake-water pH (8.0%), sedimentary loss-on-ignition (LOI, 5.9%) and estimated mean July air temperature (July T, 4.8%) explained the greatest amounts of variation in the distribution of diatom taxa among the 100 lakes. Temperature and pH optima and tolerances were calculated for abundant taxa. Transfer functions, based on WA-PLS (weighted averaging partial least squares), were developed for pH (r(2) = 0.77, root-mean-square-error of prediction (RMSEP) = 0.19 pH units, maximum bias = 0.31, as assessed by leave-one-out cross-validation) based on 99 lakes and for July T (r(2) = 0.75, RMSEP = 0.96 degreesC, max. bias = 1.37 degreesC) based on the full 100 lake set. We subsequently assessed the ability of the diatom transfer functions to estimate lake-water pH and July T using a form of independent cross-validation. To do this, the 100-lake set was divided in two subsets. An 85-lake training-set (based on single limnological measurements) was used to develop transfer functions with similar performance as those based on the full 100 lakes, and a 15-lake test-set (with 2 years of monthly limnological measurements throughout the ice-free seasons) was used to test the transfer functions developed from the 85-lake training-set. Results from the intra-set cross-validation exercise demonstrated that lake-specific prediction errors (RMSEP) for the 15-lake test-set corresponded closely with the median measured values (pH) and the estimations based on spatial interpolations of data from weather stations (July T). The prediction errors associated with diatom inferences were usually within the range of seasonal and interannual variability. Overall, our results confirm that diatoms can provide reliable and robust estimates of lake-water pH and July T, that WA-PLS is a robust calibration method and that long-term environmental data are needed for further improvement of paleolimnological transfer functions.

  • 11.
    Bigler, Christian
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Hall, Roland I
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Diatoms as quantitative indicators of July temperature: a century-scale validation with meteorological data from northern Sweden2003In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, ISSN 0031-0182, E-ISSN 1872-616X, Vol. 189, no 3-4, p. 147-160Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 12.
    Bigler, Christian
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Heiri, O
    Krskova, R
    Lotter, A F
    Sturm, M
    Distribution of diatoms, chironomids and cladocera in surface sediments of thirty mountain lakes in south-eastern Switzerland2006In: Aquatic Sciences, Vol. 68, p. 154-171Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 13.
    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.

  • 14.
    Bindler, Richard
    et al.
    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.
    Liu, Enfeng
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Hansson, Sophia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Meyer-Jacob, Carsten
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Mighall, Tim
    Ninnes, Sofia
    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.
    Reshaping the landscape: mining, metallurgy and a millennium of environmental changes in south-central SwedenManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Before the recognition of emerging environmental issues during the 20th century such as acid rain, mercury pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss, human activities had already significantly altered landscapes around the globe. As elsewhere in Europe, the introduction of agriculture into Sweden during the Bronze and Iron Ages led to changes in forest cover, especially in southern areas, but also more limited impacts in central and northern Sweden along river valleys and coastal areas. In central Sweden the rise and rapid spread of ore mining and metallurgy from the 12th and especially 13th century initiated a widespread reshaping of the landscape named after its mining heritage –Bergslagen (mining laws). This mineral rich 89,000 km2 region encompasses ~5000 metallurgical sites (furnaces, smelters, foundries, forges) and ~10000 mines registered in the Swedish National Antiquities Board’s database.

    Analyses of >30 lake-sediment records using a combination of geochemical, diatom and pollen analyses, in combination with archaeological and historical records and toponyms, add important details to the early, poorly documented history of mining/metallurgy as well as provide insights into some of the environmental impacts across this large landscape. These impacts included damming of lakes and regulation of watercourses for waterpower, increase in erosion, emission of metals to surface waters and the atmosphere (and leaching from slag piles), decrease in forest cover and changes in water quality. The discontinuous appearance of pollen from cultivated plants (cereals) indicates some limited settlement before the 12th century, but the regular occurrence thereafter of cereal pollen together with a sharp increase in charcoal particles and geochemical evidence of mining/metallurgical activities, indicates mining/metallurgy was a driving force for settlement. Decline in forest cover was gradual from the 13th century, but was more significant from the late 16th century when iron and copper production increased exponentially. The increased demand for charcoal and increased agriculture, including an expansion of summer forest farms, contributed to a reduction in inferred forest cover to 40–80% – as compared to pre-anthropogenic (≤2000 BP) values of 84–95%. From the 16th century charcoal became the limiting resource within Bergslagen and metallurgy expanded to regions adjoining Bergslagen, contributing to a more widespread decline in forest cover also beyond the Bergslagen landscape.

    In association with the increase in land-use activities and resulting changes in vegetation cover, there was a decline (20–50%) in spectrally inferred lake-water total organic carbon, which we hypothesize resulted from a decreased pool of labile soil carbon. In some lakes closely connected with blast furnaces, where the peasant-miners also lived and farmed, there was an increase in diatom-inferred lake-water pH – as observed previously in SW Sweden in association with Iron Age land use. Only in a suite of lakes in close proximity to the smelting of copper sulfide ores in the surroundings of Falun was there evidence for pre-20th century acidification.

    While current rates of environmental change may be unprecedented, they build on an already modified landscape. Because pre-industrial conditions, i.e., pre-19th century, are often used as a reference level the scale of current changes may underestimate the full extent of ecosystem and environmental impacts.

  • 15. Blass , Alex
    et al.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Grosjean, Martin
    Sturm, Michael
    Decadal-scale autumn temperature reconstruction back to AD 1580 inferred from the varved sediments of Lake Silvaplana (southeastern Swiss Alps)2007In: Quaternary Research, ISSN 0033-5894, E-ISSN 1096-0287, Vol. 68, no 2, p. 184-195Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A quantitative high-resolution autumn (September-November) temperature reconstruction for the southeastern Swiss Alps back to AD 1580 is presented here. We used the annually resolved biogenic silica (diatoms) flux derived from the accurately dated and annually sampled sediments of Lake Silvaplana (46°27'N, 9°48'E, 1800 m a.s.1.). The biogenic silica flux smoothed by means of a 9-yr running mean was calibrated (r=0.70, p<0.01) against local instrumental temperature data (AD 1864-1949). The resulting reconstruction (±2 standard errors=±0.7 °C) indicates that autumns during the late Little Ice Age were generally cooler than they were during the 20th century. During the cold anomaly around AD 1600 and during the Maunder Minimum, however, the reconstructed autumn temperatures did not experience strong negative departures from the 20th-century mean. The warmest autumns prior to 1900 occurred around AD 1770 and 1820 (0.75 °C above the 20th-century mean). Our data agree closely with two other autumn temperature reconstructions for the Alps and for Europe that are based on documentary evidence and are completely unrelated to our data, revealing a very consistent picture over the centuries.

  • 16.
    Capo, Eric
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. CARRTEL, INRA, Universite´ de Savoie Mont Blanc, 74000 Thonon-Les-Bains, France.
    Domaizon, Isabelle
    Maier, Dominique
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Debroas, Didier
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    To what extent is the DNA of microbial eukaryotes modified during burying into lake sediments?: A repeat-coring approach on annually laminated sediments2017In: Journal of Paleolimnology, ISSN 0921-2728, E-ISSN 1573-0417, Vol. 58, no 4, p. 479-495Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Paleogenetics provides a powerful framework to reconstruct the long-term temporal dynamics of various biological groups from aquatic sediments. However, validations are still required to ensure the authenticity of the molecular signal obtained from sedimentary DNA. Here, we investigated the effects of early diagenesis on the DNA signal from micro-eukaryotes preserved in sediments by comparing metabarcoding inventories obtained for two sediment cores sampled in 2007 and 2013 respectively. High-throughput sequencing (Illumina MiSeq) of sedimentary DNA was utilized to reconstruct the composition of microbial eukaryotic communities by targeting the V7 region of the 18S rDNA gene. No significant difference was detected between the molecular inventories obtained for the two cores both for total richness and diversity indices. Moreover, community structures obtained for the two cores were congruent as revealed by procrustean analysis. Though most of the eukaryotic groups showed no significant difference in terms of richness and relative proportion according to the core, the group of fungi was found to differ both in terms of richness and relative proportion (possibly due to their spatial heterogeneity and potential activity in sediments). Considering the OTUs level (i.e. Operational Taxonomic Units as a proxy of ecological species), our results showed that, for the older analyzed strata (age: 15-40 years), the composition and structure of communities were very similar for the two cores (except for fungi) and the DNA signal was considered stable. However, for the uppermost strata (age < 15 years), changes of moderate magnitude were detected in the relative abundance of few OTUs. Overall, this study points out that, in Nylandssjon sediments, early diagenesis did not induce marked modifications in the micro-eukaryotic DNA signal, thus opening new perspectives based on the analysis of eukaryotic sedimentary DNA to address scientific issues both in the domains of paleolimnology and microbial ecology. Because this study site is ideal for DNA preservation in sediment (quick sedimentation processes, no sediment resuspension, anoxic conditions at sediment-water interface), the generalization of our conclusions, in particular for less favorable sites, must be considered cautiously.

  • 17.
    Capo, Eric
    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.
    Tolu, Julie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland.
    Domaizon, Isabelle
    Debroas, Didier
    Bindler, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    How Does Environmental Inter-annual Variability Shape Aquatic Microbial Communities?: A 40-Year Annual Record of Sedimentary DNA From a Boreal Lake (Nylandssjon, Sweden)2019In: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, E-ISSN 2296-701X, Vol. 7, article id 245Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To assess the sensitivity of lakes to anthropogenically-driven environmental changes (e.g., nutrient supply, climate change), it is necessary to first isolate the effects of between-year variability in weather conditions. This variability can strongly impact a lake's biological community especially in boreal and arctic areas where snow phenology play an important role in controlling the input of terrestrial matter to the lake. Identifying the importance of this inherent variability is difficult without time series that span at least several decades. Here, we applied a molecular approach (metabarcoding on eukaryotic 18S rRNA genes and qPCR on cyanobacterial 16S rRNA genes) to sedimentary DNA (sed-DNA) to unravel the annual variability of microbial community in 40 years' sediment record from the boreal lake Nylandssjon which preserve annually-laminated sediments. Our comparison between seasonal meteorological data, sediment inorganic geochemistry (X-ray fluorescence analyses) and organic biomarkers (pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analyses), demonstrated that inter-annual variability strongly influence the sediment composition in Nylandssjon. Spring temperature, snow and ice phenology (e.g., the percentage of snow loss in spring, the timing of lake ice-off) were identified as important drivers for the inputs of terrestrial material to the lake, and were therefore also important for shaping the aquatic biological community. Main changes were detected in the late-80s/mid-90s and mid-2000s associated with increases in algal productivity, in total richness of the protistan community and in relative abundances of Chlorophyta, Dinophyceae as well as Cyanobacteria abundance. These changes could be linked to a decline in terrestrial inputs to the lake during the snow melt and run-off period, which in turn was driven by warmer winter temperatures. Even if our data shows that meteorological factors do affect the sediment composition and microbial communities, they only explain part of the variability. This is most likely a consequence of the high inter-annual variability in abiotic and biotic parameters highlighting the difficulty to draw firm conclusions concerning drivers of biological changes at an annual or sub-annual resolution even with the 40-year varved sediment record from Nylandssjon. Hence, it is necessary to have an even longer time perspective in order to reveal the full implications of climate change.

  • 18. Finsinger, W
    et al.
    Bigler, C
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Krähenbühl, U
    Lotter, A F
    Ammann, B
    Human impact and eutrophication patterns during the past ~200 years at Lago Grande di Avigliana (N. Italy).2006In: Journal of Paleolimnology, Vol. 36, p. 55-67Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 19. Finsinger, Walter
    et al.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science. NCCR Climate, Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Bern, Altenbergrain 21, CH-3013, Bern, Switzerland.
    Kraehenbuehl, Urs
    Lotter, Andre F
    Ammann, Brigitta
    Human impacts and eutrophication patterns during the past similar to 200 years at Lago Grande di Avigliana (N. Italy)2006In: Journal of Paleolimnology, ISSN 0921-2728, E-ISSN 1573-0417, Vol. 36, no 1, p. 55-67Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A short sediment core from Lago Grande di Avigliana (Piedmont, Italy), the second most eutrophied lake in Italy, was analysed for pollen and diatoms to reconstruct land-use changes and to estimate baseline conditions for total phosphorus (TP) in the water column. Varve counts on sediment thin-sections and (210)Pb, (226)Ra, and (137)Cs dating provided a reliable chronology for the past similar to 200 years. The main pollen-inferred land-use changes showed a sharp decrease of hemp retting around AD 1900, as well as a gradual change to less intensive agriculture and increasing abundance of exotic plants since AD similar to 1970. Diatom-inferred TP reconstructions indicated stable TP concentrations until AD similar to 1950, revealing baseline mesotrophic conditions (TP < 25 mu g l(-1)). After AD similar to 1950, TP values increased distinctly and continuously, culminating in the late 1960s with concentrations of 150 mu g l(-1). Subsequently, diatoms implied a linear decrease of TP, with an inferred value of 40 mu g l(-1) in the surface sediment sample. Comparison with instrumental TP measurements from the water column since AD 1980 showed a rapid recovery and allowed a direct validation of the diatom TP inference. However, although the TP concentration has decreased considerably, baseline conditions have not yet been reached. When compared to the limnological effects of sewage discharges on inferred-TP concentration, our results indicated that agricultural land use played a minor role in the lake's eutrophication.

  • 20.
    Guhrén, Matilda
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Bigler, Christian
    Renberg, Ingemar
    Liming placed in a long-term perspective: a paleolimnological study of 12 lakes in the Swedish liming program2007In: Journal of Paleolimnology, ISSN 0921-2728, E-ISSN 1573-0417, Vol. 37, no 2, p. 247-258Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Since the 1970s liming has been practised on a large scale in Sweden to mitigate acidification and several thousand lakes and streams are limed repeatedly. The Swedish monitoring program ISELAW (Integrated Studies of the Effects of Liming Acidified Waters) studies the long-term effects of liming. This paper summarizes the paleolimnological part of the program. Sediment cores from 12 lakes were analysed to study the development of the lakes from pre-industrial time until the present, and address questions about natural conditions and the effects of early human impact, acidification, and liming. Diatoms were used to reconstruct the pH history and to study shifts in species composition due to acidification and liming. Analyses of lead and spheroidal carbonaceous particles were applied for indirect dating and as indicators of the atmospheric deposition of pollutants associated with acid rain. Pollen analysis was performed in eight of the lakes to study the vegetation and agricultural history. The natural pH (prior to human disturbance) was between 5.3 and 6.5 in the eight lakes where the complete post-glacial sediment sequence was recovered. Pollen from anthropochores and apophytes indicated early agricultural land use in the vicinity of the lakes from 1000 to 2000 years ago, and pH increased with land use in six of these lakes. Five of the lakes have been acidified during recent decades, and in all 12 lakes some effects of liming were recorded in the diatom assemblage. The lakes show different responses to liming, including a return to a pre-acidification diatom composition or a shift to a state previously not recorded in the lake’s histories. This study accentuates the complexity of biological response to acidification and liming, and highlights the importance of historical perspectives to assess the current state of a lake’s ecosystem and to establish adequate restoration goals.

  • 21.
    Gälman, Veronika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Renberg, Ingemar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Kiselalger som miljöindikatorer i små vattendrag: miljötillståndet i bäckar i Västerbotten år 2007 enligt analys av epilitiska kiselalger2009Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Analyses of diatoms in epilithic samples from 73 streams in the province of Västerbotten (northern Sweden) have been used to infer stream water quality. Samples were collected in late summer 2007 using the “Stone Brusher” (Persson et al. 2006). Diatom analyses and inference of water acidity and trophic conditions were performed using guidelines from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket 2005, 2007, and Kahlert et al. 2007). Sixty of the streams were classified as being alkaline, near neutral, or slightly acidic according to the acidity index (ACID Index). Ten were classified as being acidic and we suggest this is due to organic acids and the influence of oxidizing sulphide-rich minerogenic soils. Three streams were classified as being very acidic. These streams are located in the southern coastal part of the province and in addition to processes mentioned above, acid deposition cannot be ruled out as a contributing cause to the acidity of the water. Sixty-two streams were classified as having high status, and only eleven had a slightly lower status (good) according to the IPS Index for trophic/pollution condition, i.e. being influenced by nutrients to some degree. The latter were mainly streams in agricultural landscapes. This study confirms that diatom analysis is a valid and robust method for stream monitoring. However, based on the experience of the study, we argue that diatom analysis is a highly specialized type of environmental monitoring and we suggest simplifications of the currently applied approach. We base these suggestions on simulation tests, which show that the classification is not significantly changed if: (i considerably fewer diatom valves are counted in each slide (50-100 instead of 400), (ii) identification of rare taxa is not made, and (iii) splitting of species into subspecies, varieties and forms is avoided. Finally, using material from the 73 streams, we show that near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) of the epilithic material could be established as a complementary method for environmental monitoring in streams.

  • 22.
    Gälman, Veronika
    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.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Decadal diagenetic effects on d13C and d15N studied in varved lake sediment2009In: Limnology and Oceanography, ISSN 0024-3590, E-ISSN 1939-5590, Vol. 54, no 3, p. 917-924Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To assess the long-term (27 yr) effects of sediment aging on stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values (δ13C and δ15N), we used a collection of eight freeze cores of annually laminated (varved) lake sediment collected from 1979 to 2007 in Nylandssjon (northern Sweden). Previous research has shown that 20–23% of carbon and 35% of nitrogen is lost in 27 yr. Material from specific years was compared in the cores, e.g., δ13C and δ15N of the surface varve of the 1979 core was followed in cores retrieved in 1980, 1989, 1993, 2002, 2004, and 2006. δ13C increased by 0.4–1.5% during the first 5 yr. After this initial increase, only minor fluctuations were recorded. There is a good correlation between the magnitude in δ13C changes and the initial carbon and nitrogen concentrations, indicating that the initial sediment composition is important for the 13C fractionation. δ15N gradually decreased by 0.3–0.7% over the entire 27-yr period. The lack of correlation with the initial sediment composition and the gradual decrease in δ15N indicates a microbial control on δ15N change. The diagenetic changes in the stable isotope values that occur in Nylandssjon are small, but of the same magnitude as the down-core variation in the varves deposited 1950–2006. Diagenetic effects should be considered when δ13C and δ15N are used to study organic matter sources or paleoproductivity, especially when dealing with recent trends or small changes. Based on our findings, diagenetic effects for δ13C are observed during the first 5–10 yr, whereas no delimitation can be recommended for δ15N.

  • 23.
    Gälman, Veronika
    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.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Decadal diagenetic effects on δ13C and δ15N studied in varved lake sediment2009In: Limnology and Oceanography, ISSN 0024-3590, E-ISSN 1939-5590, Vol. 54, no 3, p. 905-916Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Livingstone and Imboden (1996) model for the oxygen depletion rate in lake hypolimnia was evaluated with field results in 32 lakes. The volumetric oxygen consumption rate (JV) was strongly related to lake trophic state, as represented by the growing season mean chlorophyll a (Chl a) and annual mean total phosphorus concentration, and might reach a maximum of 0.23–0.24 g O2 m-3 d-1 in eutrophic lakes. The areal oxygen consumption rate (JA) was not related to trophic state and was lower than the value estimated by the sediment core method, particularly in eutrophic lakes; the mean was 0.0816 6 0.0150 g O2 m-2 whole sediment d-1. We modified the model and it was used to confirm that the field JA, the average for the hypolimnion for the deoxygenation period, is influenced by JV and the range of sediment area to water volume ratio, (Z) (Z is water depth), in the hypolimnion, as well as the oxygen consumption rate in whole sediment (R). It was suggested that this is the reason for the difference between field and sediment core JA values. The R in 10 lakes varied from 7 to 460 g O2 m-3 whole sediment d-1. Overall, the Livingstone and Imboden model with constant JA and with a JV value derived from an empirical relationship with either measure of trophic state was considered to be a suitable condensed model for oxygen depletion in lake hypolimnia.

  • 24. Heinrichs, M L
    et al.
    Peglar, S M
    Bigler, C
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Birks, H J
    A multi-proxy palaeoecological study of Alanen Laanijarvi, a boreal-forest lake in Swedish Lapland2005In: Boreas, Vol. 34, p. 192-206Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 25. Holmgren, Sofia U.
    et al.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Ingólfsson, Ólafur
    Wolfe, Alexander P.
    The Holocene–Anthropocene transition in lakes of western Spitsbergen, Svalbard (Norwegian High Arctic): climate change and nitrogen deposition2010In: Journal of Paleolimnology, ISSN 0921-2728, E-ISSN 1573-0417, Vol. 43, no 2, p. 393-412Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Lake sediments from four small lakes on western Spitsbergen (Svalbard Archipelago, Norwegian High Arctic) preserve biostratigraphic and isotopic evidence for a complex suite of twentieth century environmental changes. At Lake Skardtjørna and Lake Tjørnskardet on Nordenskiöldkysten, there is a marked diatom floristic change coupled to increased diatom concentrations beginning around 1920. At Lake Istjørna and Lake Istjørnelva, 25 km southwest of Longyearbyen, both diatom total valve and chrysophyte stomatocyst concentrations have increased dramatically since the beginning of the 1900s. The early twentieth century changes are probably related to climate warming after the Little Ice Age. However, the most pronounced changes in diatom assemblages seem to have occurred in the last few decades. At the same time, nitrogen stable isotopes in sediment organic matter in two of the lakes became progressively depleted by ~2‰, which is consistent with diffuse atmospheric inputs from anthropogenic sources and attendant fertilization. These data suggest that climate change and nitrogen deposition may be acting together in driving these lakes towards new ecological states that are unique in the context of the Holocene.

  • 26. Jonsson, Christina E
    et al.
    Rosqvist, Gunhild C
    Leng, Melanie J
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Bergman, Jonas
    Kaislahti Tillman, Päivi
    Sloane, Hilary J
    High resolution diatom δ18O records from two sub-Arctic high altitude lakes in the Swedish Scandes2010In: Journal of Quaternary Science, ISSN 0267-8179, E-ISSN 1099-1417, Vol. 25, no 6, p. 918-930Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Waters from high-altitude alpine lakes are mainly recharged by meteoric water. Because of seasonal variations in precipitation and temperature and relatively short hydraulic residence times, most high-altitude lakes have lake water isotopic compositions (δ18Olake) that fluctuate due to seasonality in water balance processes. Input from snowmelt, in particular, has a significant role in determining lake water δ18O. Here we compare two high-resolution δ18Odiatom records from lake sediments in the Swedish Scandes with instrumental data from the last century obtained from nearby meteorological stations. The time period AD 1900–1990 is characterised by an increase in winter precipitation and high winter/summer precipitation ratios and this is recorded in δ18Odiatom as decreasing trends. Lowest δ18Odiatom values and highest amount of winter precipitation are found around AD 1990 when the winter North Atlantic Oscillation index was above +2. We conclude that for the last 150 a the main factor affecting the δ18Odiatom signal in these sub-Arctic high-altitude lakes with short residence times has been changes in amount of winter precipitation and that δ18Odiatom derived from high-altitude lakes in the Swedish Scandes can be used as a winter precipitation proxy. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  • 27. Kaal, Joeri
    et al.
    Martinez Cortizas, Antonio
    Rydberg, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Seasonal changes in molecular composition of organic matter in lake sediment trap material from Nylandssjon, Sweden2015In: Organic Geochemistry, ISSN 0146-6380, E-ISSN 1873-5290, Vol. 83-84, p. 253-262Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The origin and degradation/preservation state of organic matter (OM) in lacustrine systems can be studied using its molecular composition. Pyrolysis gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (Py-GC-MS) allows rapid assessment of OM-rich samples and has proven a useful tool for peat, lacustrine and marine deposits, but is rarely applied specifically to lake environments prone to the formation of varves (annually laminated sediments), which are used frequently for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. We applied Py-GC-MS to a 3.5 yr record of sediment trap samples collected from Nylandssjon in northern Sweden to determine the usefulness of the method for improving knowledge of OM dynamics in varved lakes. It appeared that seasonal variation controlled the pyrolysis fingerprints: intact polysaccharides and lignin from vascular plants, chitin from arthropods and chlorophyll from algae were concentrated in spring and summer traps, whereas winter trap samples were enriched mainly in degraded components, as OM slowly trickled down under a thick layer of ice. A secondary diagenetic process involving sulfurisation of phytadienes was recognised via isoprenoid thiophenes, with no clear seasonal trend, probably because it occurred under anoxic conditions at the lake bottom. The N-containing compounds from proteins in algae and chitin in arthropods were abundant in all samples, indicating that the dominant flux of varve OM was autochthonous in origin. We conclude that Py-GC-MS has significant potential for identifying the variability in parent material (source organisms and degradation state) and could become a valuable tool for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction from varved lake sediments. 

  • 28. Kahlert, Maria
    et al.
    Albert, Raino-Lars
    Anttila, Eeva-Leena
    Bengtsson, Roland
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Eskola, Tiina
    Gälman, Veronika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Gottschalk, Steffi
    Herlitz, Eva
    Jarlman, Amelie
    Kasperoviciene, Jurate
    Kokociński, Mikołaj
    Luup, Helen
    Miettinen, Juha
    Paunksnyte, Ieva
    Piirsoo, Kai
    Quintana, Isabel
    Raunio, Janne
    Sandell, Bernt
    Simola, Heikki
    Sundberg, Irene
    Vilbaste, Sirje
    Weckström, Jan
    Harmonization is more important than experience—results of the first Nordic–Baltic diatom intercalibration exercise 2007 (stream monitoring)2009In: Journal of Applied Phycology, ISSN 0921-8971, E-ISSN 1573-5176, Vol. 21, no 4, p. 471-482Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The goal of this study was a harmonization of diatom identification and counting among diatomists from the Scandinavian and Baltic countries to improve the comparison of diatom studies in this geographical area. An analysis of the results of 25 diatomists following the European standard EN 14407 during an intercalibration exercise showed that a high similarity was achieved by harmonization and not because of a long experience with diatoms. Sources of error were wrong calibration scales, overlooking of small taxa, especially small Navicula s.l., misidentifications (Eunotia rhomboidea was mistaken for Eunotia incisa) and unclear separation between certain taxa in the identification literature. The latter was discussed during a workshop with focus on the Achnanthes minutissima group, the separation of Fragilaria capucina var. gracilis from F. capucina var. rumpens, and Nitzschia palea var. palea from N. palea var. debilis. The exercise showed also that the Swedish standard diatom method tested here worked fine with acceptable error for the indices IPS (Indice de Polluo-sensibilité Spécifique) and ACID (ACidity Index for Diatoms) when diatomists with a low similarity (Bray–Curtis <60%) with the auditor in at least one of the samples are excluded.

  • 29.
    Klaminder, Jonatan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Hammarlund, Dan
    Kokfelt, Ulla
    Vonk, Jorien E.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Lead contamination of subarctic lakes and its response to reduced atmospheric fallout: can the recovery process be counteracted by the ongoing climate change?2010In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 44, no 7, p. 2335-2340Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Can a climate-triggered export of old contaminants from the soil alter the lead (Pb) contaminant burden of subarctic lakes? To address this question, we reconstructed the pollution history of three high latitude lakes situated in a region where a recent climatic shift has occurred. Dated sediment records were used as archives of past Pb inputs to the lakes, where the difference in the 206Pb/207Pb ratio between atmospheric contaminants (206Pb/207Pb ratio <1.16) and geogenic Pb in the catchment soil (206Pb/207Pb ratio >1.22) were used to trace fluxes of Pb contaminants. Lead contaminants were found in sediments deposited since Roman times. A significant export of Pb from the soil contaminant pool is indicated in two of the lakes surrounded by near-shore permafrost soils. Here, levels of Pb contaminants and 206Pb/207Pb ratios of sediments deposited after the 1970s appear not to have been strongly affected by the ≥90% reduction in atmospheric deposition rates and increasing 206Pb/207Pb ratios of atmospheric Pb since the 1990s. We concluded that soil processes stimulated by the ongoing climate change at high latitudes might work counteractive to efforts to reduce contaminant levels in subarctic lakes.

  • 30. Larocque , I
    et al.
    Grosjean , M
    Heiri , O
    Bigler , Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Blass , C
    Comparison between chironomid-inferred July temperatures and meteorological data AD 1850-2001 from varved Lake Silvaplana, Switzerland2009In: Journal of Paleolimnology, ISSN 0921-2728, E-ISSN 1573-0417, Vol. 41, no 2, p. 329-342Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Inferred temperatures from chironomids preserved in the varved sediment of Lake Silvaplana in the Eastern Swiss Alps were compared with instrumental data obtained from a meteorological station in Sils-Maria, on the shore of Lake Silvaplana, for the time interval 1850-2001. At near-annual resolution, the general patterns of chironomid-inferred temperature changes followed the meteorological record over the last 150 years (r (Pearson) = 0.65, P = 0.01) and 87% of the inferences had deviations from the instrumental data below the root-mean-square error of prediction (RMSEP). When the inferences were compared with a 2-year running mean in the meteorological data, 94% of the inferences had differences with the instrumental data below the RMSEP, indicating that more than half of the inaccurate inferences may have been due to errors in varve counting. Larger deviations from the instrumental data were also obtained from samples with low percentages of fossil taxa represented in the training set used for temperature reconstruction and/or assemblages with poor fit to temperature. Changes in total phosphorus (TP, as inferred by diatoms) and/or greater precipitation were possible factors affecting the accuracy of the temperature reconstruction. Although these factors might affect the quantitative estimates, obtaining > 80% accurate temperature inferences suggests that chironomid analysis is a reliable tool for reconstructing mean July air temperature quantitatively over the last 150 years in Lake Silvaplana.

  • 31. Larocque, I
    et al.
    Bigler, C
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Similarities and discrepancies between chironomid- and diatom-inferred temperature reconstructions through the Holocene at Lake 850, northern Sweden2004In: Quaternary International, Vol. 122, p. 109-121Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 32.
    Lindeberg, Carola
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Bindler, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Rosen, P
    Renberg, Ingemar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Mercury pollution trends in subarctic lakes in the northern Swedish mountains2007In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, Vol. 36, no 5, p. 401-405Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 33.
    Maier, Dominique B.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Diehl, Sebastian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Interannual variation in seasonal diatom sedimentation reveals the importance of late winter processes and their timing for sediment signal formation2019In: Limnology and Oceanography, ISSN 0024-3590, E-ISSN 1939-5590, Vol. 64, no 3, p. 1186-1199Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Disentangling the process information contained in a diatom sediment signature is crucial for reliable future predictions based on paleolimnological records. In this study, we combine limnological and paleolimnological monitoring to address the fundamental question: Which environmental information is contained in a diatom sediment signal? We compared annual diatom sequential sediment trap records with the diatom record of the annually varved lake sediment of Nylandssjon (northern Sweden) from three meteorologically different years (2012-2014). The seasonal patterns in diatom sedimentation were strikingly different in varve years 2012 and 2014 compared to varve year 2013. In 2012 and 2014, up to 70% of the annual flux occurred in a single spring month and was dominated by Cyclotella glomerata. In contrast, in 2013, peak fluxes were much lower and more annually integrated. Next, we compared the full-year diatom trap results with year round in-lake physical, chemical, and biological monitored parameters, as well as meteorological variables. Annual averages of environmental conditions did not explain the interannual variability in diatom sedimentation. Instead, the seasonality of diatom sedimentation was determined by the timing of the spring diatom bloom relative to lake over-turn in winters with warm vs. cold air temperature. With our combined limnological and paleolimnological monitoring approach, we find that an annual diatom signal can either contain primarily seasonal climate information from a short time period or be annually integrated. We synthesize our results in a novel conceptual model, which describes the response of sediment diatom signals to two distinct sequences of late-winter conditions.

  • 34.
    Maier, Dominique B.
    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.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Renberg, Ingemar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Compaction of recent varved lake sediments2013In: GFF, ISSN 1103-5897, E-ISSN 2000-0863, Vol. 135, no 3-4, p. 231-236Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To assess the rates of compaction in recent, varved (annually laminated) lake sediments, we used a collection of 13 freeze cores sampled from 1979 to 2012 in Nylandssjon (northern Sweden). This unique series of stored freeze cores allowed us to measure how the thickness of individual varves changed when they were overlain by new varves. The compaction rate was greatest during the first few years after deposition; varve thickness decreased by 60% after 5 years (sediment depth 5cm). Thereafter, the compaction rate declined, but after 33 years (the study period) there was still a weak trend of continued compaction (sediment depth 12cm). The rate of compaction is clearly linked to loss of water along with an increase in dry-bulk density of the sediment. Despite compaction causing considerable varve thickness changes over time, the year-to-year variation in varve thickness is preserved while sediment ages. Understanding compaction processes is of fundamental importance to paleolimnology, for example in studies involving calibration of varve thicknesses of recent varves against environmental parameters.

  • 35.
    Maier, Dominique Béatrice
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Gälman, Veronika
    Renberg, Ingemar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Using a decadal diatom sediment trap record to unravel seasonal processes important for the formation of the sedimentary diatom signal2018In: Journal of Paleolimnology, ISSN 0921-2728, E-ISSN 1573-0417, Vol. 60, no 2, p. 133-152Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sediment trap studies and high frequency monitoring are of great importance to develop a deeper understanding of how seasonal environmental processes are imprinted in sediment signal formation. We collected whole year diatom assemblages from 2002 to 2014 with a sequential sediment trap from a varved boreal lake (Nylandssjon, Sweden) together with environmental and limnological parameters, and compared them with the corresponding diatom record of the annual laminated sediment. Our data set indicates a large year-to-year variability of diatom succession and abundance patterns, which is well reflected in the varved sediments. Specifically, Cyclotella glomerata dominated the annual sediment trap record (as well as in the corresponding sediment varves) in years with warmer air temperatures in March/April, and Asterionella formosa dominated the annual sediment assemblages as a consequence of years characterized by higher runoff before lake over-turn. Years succeeding forest clearance in the lake catchment showed marked increase in diatom and sediment flux. The DCA scores of the yearly diatom trap assemblages clearly resemble the lake's thermal structure, which indicates that the relative abundance of major taxa seems primarily controlled by the timing of seasonal environmental events, such as above-average winter air temperature and/or autumn runoff and the current thermal structure of the lake. The high seasonal variability between environmental drivers in combination with the physical limnology leaves us with several possible scenarios leading to either an A. formosa versus C. glomerata dominated annual diatom sediment signal. With this study we highlight that short-term environmental events and seasonal limnological conditions are of major importance for interpreting annual sediment signals.

  • 36.
    Meyer-Jacob, Carsten
    et al.
    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.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Leng, Melanie J.
    NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities, British Geological Survey, Nottingham, UK; Centre for Environmental Geochemistry, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.
    Lowick, Sally E
    Institute of Geological Sciences and Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
    Vogel, Hendrik
    Institute of Geological Sciences and Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
    Regional Holocene climate and landscape changes recorded in the large subarctic lake Torneträsk, N Fennoscandia2017In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, ISSN 0031-0182, E-ISSN 1872-616X, Vol. 487, p. 1-14Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Understanding the response of sensitive Arctic and subarctic landscapes to climate change is essential to determine the risks of ongoing and projected climate warming. However, these responses will not be uniform in terms of timing and magnitude across the landscape because of site-specific differences in ecosystem susceptibility to climate forcing. Here we present a multi-proxy analysis of a sediment record from the 330-km2 lake Torneträsk to assess the sensitivity of the Fennoscandian subarctic landscape to climate change over the past ~ 9500 years. By comparing responses of this large-lake system to past climatic and environmental changes with those in small lakes in its catchment, we assessed when the magnitude of change was sufficient to affect an entire region rather than only specific sub-catchments that may be more sensitive to localized environmental changes such as, e.g., tree-line dynamics. Our results show three periods of regional landscape alteration with distinct change in sediment composition: i) landscape development following deglaciation and through the Holocene Thermal Maximum, ~ 9500–3400 cal yr BP; ii) increased soil erosion during the Little Ice Age (LIA); and iii) rapid change during the past century coincident with ongoing climate change. The gradual landscape development led to successive changes in the lake sediment composition over several millennia, whereas climate cooling during the late Holocene caused a rather abrupt shift occurring within ~ 100 years. However, this shift at the onset of the LIA (~ 750 cal yr BP) occurred > 2000 years later than the first indications for climate cooling recorded in small lakes in the Torneträsk catchment, suggesting that a critical ecosystem threshold was not crossed until the LIA. In contrast, the ongoing response to recent climate change was immediate, emphasizing the unprecedented scale of ongoing climate changes in subarctic Fennoscandia.

  • 37.
    Meyer-Jacob, Carsten
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Tolu, Julie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Yang, Handong
    Environmental Change Research Centre, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom.
    Bindler, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Early land use and centennial scale changes in lake-water organic carbon prior to contemporary monitoring2015In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 112, no 21, p. 6579-6584Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Organic carbon concentrations have increased in surface waters across parts of Europe and North America during the past decades, but the main drivers causing this phenomenon are still debated. A lack of observations beyond the last few decades inhibits a better mechanistic understanding of this process and thus a reliable prediction of future changes. Here we present past lake-water organic carbon trends inferred from sediment records across central Sweden that allow us to assess the observed increase on a centennial to millennial time scale. Our data show the recent increase in lake-water carbon but also that this increase was preceded by a landscape-wide, long-term decrease beginning already A. D. 1450-1600. Geochemical and biological proxies reveal that these dynamics coincided with an intensification of human catchment disturbance that decreased over the past century. Catchment disturbance was driven by the expansion and later cessation of widespread summer forest grazing and farming across central Scandinavia. Our findings demonstrate that early land use strongly affected past organic carbon dynamics and suggest that the influence of historical landscape utilization on contemporary changes in lake-water carbon levels has thus far been underestimated. We propose that past changes in land use are also a strong contributing factor in ongoing organic carbon trends in other regions that underwent similar comprehensive changes due to early cultivation and grazing over centuries to millennia.

  • 38.
    Milan, Manuela
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. IASMA Research and Innovation Centre, E. Mach Foundation.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Salmaso, Nico
    IASMA Research and Innovation Centre, E. Mach Foundation.
    Guella, Graziano
    Department of Physics, University of Trento.
    Tolotti, Monica
    IASMA Research and Innovation Centre, E. Mach Foundation.
    Multiproxy reconstruction of a large and deep subalpine lake's ecological history since the Middle Ages2015In: Journal of Great Lakes research, ISSN 0380-1330, Vol. 41, no 4, p. 982-994Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two short sediment cores collected at the deepest points of the two sub-basins of Lake Garda (Northern Italy) were radiometrically dated and analyzed for geochemistry, spheroidal carbonaceous particles, photosynthetic pigments and diatoms aimed at reconstructing the lake's ecological evolution over the last ~700 years, and at defining its reference conditions. Both cores showed steady dominance of small Cyclotella spp. and oligotrophic diatom-inferred lake TP concentrations from the Middle Ages until the 1960s. During the successive decades, meso- to eutraphentic elongated Fragilariaceae increased at the expense of small centrics, and diatom-inferred TP concentrations increased. Independent records of subfossil pigments revealed higher pytoplankton biomass and abundance of cyanobacteria in both lake basins since the 1990s. Trends of biological proxies and reconstructed lake TP level agree with modern limnological data collected since the 1990s. Multivariate analyses outlined lake nutrient level as the principal driver of long-term trophic and diatom evolution of Lake Garda and suggested that decadal scale climate dynamics (i.e. air temperature, East Atlantic and North Atlantic Oscillation teleconnection indices) may indirectly modulate the nutrient-driven phytoplankton evolution. The comparison of the two cores revealed that only the larger lake basin responded to major hydrological changes in the catchment during the 1940s. The study emphasizes the vulnerability of large and deep subalpine lakes towards the steadily increasing anthropogenic pressures affecting such lakes, under the present context of global warming.

  • 39.
    Milan, Manuela
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. IASMA Research and Innovation Centre, E. Mach Foundation-Istituto Agrario di San Michele all’Adige, S. Michele All’Adige, Trento, Italy.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Tolotti, Monica
    Szeroczynska, Krystyna
    Effects of long term nutrient and climate variability on subfossil Cladocera in a deep, subalpine lake (Lake Garda, northern Italy)2017In: Journal of Paleolimnology, ISSN 0921-2728, E-ISSN 1573-0417, Vol. 58, no 3, p. 335-351Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Albeit subfossil Cladocera remains are considered as a reliable proxy for tracking historical lake development, they have been scarcely studied in large subalpine lakes south of the Alps. In this study, subfossil Cladocera remains from Lake Garda in northern Italy were analyzed to track the lake's environmental changes since the Middle Ages. One core was retrieved from the largest sub-basin of Lake Garda (Brenzone, 350 m deep) and two cores were retrieved from the profundal and littoral zone of the smaller lake sub-basin (Bardolino, 80 and 40 m deep, respectively). The species distribution of Cladocera remains in recent sediment layers was similar to that observed in contemporary water samples. The deepest sections of the three cores were characterized by species sensitive to water temperature, which suggest a key role of major climatic events in driving the lake response during the late Holocene. The most evident change in Cladocera assemblages in the studied cores was observed during the 1960s, when planktonic taxa such as Daphnia spp. and Bosmina spp. became dominant at the expense of littoral taxa. Despite the highly coherent general pattern of subfossil Cladocera, the cores showed a set of minor differences, which were attributed to different morphological and hydrological features of the two basins forming Lake Garda. Multivariate analysis revealed a clear relation of Cladocera to climate variability during periods of low lake nutrient levels (i.e. before the 1960s). This provides additional information on past ecological responses of Lake Garda, as contrast previous data from subfossil diatom and pigment analyses did not fully capture effects of climate change during the same period. Since the 1960s shifts in assemblage composition of Cladocera and diatoms were highly coherent, in response to nutrient increase and the following, less pronounced, decrease in nutrient concentrations. During the last five decades, the response of the Cladocera to climate variability appeared to be masked by nutrient change. This work points up the potential of the multi-proxy approach for disentangling the multifaceted biological responses to multiple environmental stressors in large and deep lakes.

  • 40.
    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.

  • 41.
    Norberg, Matilda
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Bigler, Christian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Renberg, Ingemar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Comparing pre-industrial and post-limed diatom communities in Swedish lakes, with implications for defining realistic management targets2010In: Journal of Paleolimnology, ISSN 0921-2728, E-ISSN 1573-0417, Vol. 44, no 1, p. 233-242Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the 1960s and 1970s, acidification was identified as a major environmental problem in Scandinavia, Great Britain and North America. In Sweden, a liming program was launched in order to counteract the effects of acidification on surface waters. More than 30 years after large-scale liming began, there is still debate about whether liming actually achieves its goals, i.e., to prevent acidification in acid-sensitive surface waters and to restore natural conditions in acidified waters. We used Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) and analogue matching of diatom assemblages in surface sediment samples (recent conditions) from 31 limed lakes and pre-industrial samples from 291 reference lakes to help answer the question as to whether the Swedish liming program achieves its goals. Diatoms are important primary producers in lakes and established indicator organisms for lake-water quality. First we compared pre-industrial with post-limed diatom communities to address the question whether liming causes unnatural conditions, i.e., diatom communities that have not previously occurred in Swedish lakes. Second, we addressed the issue of what is a realistic condition to use as a reference (natural condition) or a target in management programs. We found that the diatom communities in limed lakes were not different from the communities in the reference lakes. Most of the limed lakes had one or more analogues within the reference data set and many of them had at least one within-lake analogue. Hence, liming does not create unique diatom communities in lakes. Based on this and previous paleolimnological studies in Swedish lakes we suggest a conceptual model integrating the natural lake condition, the historical human impact, and the recent and contemporary human impact, when defining realistic targets in management programs.

  • 42.
    Norberg, Matilda
    et al.