Interactions of climate and land use documented in the varved sediments of Seebergsee in the Swiss Alps

Hausmann, Sonja; Lotter, André F.; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline; Ohlendorf, Ch.; Lemcke, G.; Grönlund, E.; Sturm, M. (2002). Interactions of climate and land use documented in the varved sediments of Seebergsee in the Swiss Alps. Holocene, 12(3), pp. 279-289. Sage 10.1191/0959683602hl544rp

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This paper presents a multiproxy high-resolution study of the past 2600 years for Seebergsee, a small Swiss lake with varved sediments at the present tree-line ecotone. The laminae were identified as varves by a numerical analysis of diatom counts in the thin-sections. The hypothesis of two diatom blooms per year was corroborated by the 210Pb and 137Cs chronology. A period of intensive pasturing during the ‘Little Ice Age’ between ad 1346 and ad 1595 is suggested by coprophilous fungal spores, as well as by pollen indicators of grazing, by the diatom-inferred total phosphorus, by geochemistry and by documentary data. The subsequent re-oligotrophication of the lake took about 88 years, as determined by the timelag between the decline of coprophile fungal spores and the restoration of pre-eutrophic nutrient conditions. According to previous studies of latewood densities from the same region, cold summers around ad 1600 limited the pasturing at this altitude. This demonstrated the socio-economic impact of a single climatic event. However, the variance partitioning between the effects of land use and climate, which was applied for the whole core, revealed that climate independent of land use and time explained only 1.32% of the diatom data, while land use independent of climate and time explained 15.7%. Clearly land use in‘ uenced the lake, but land use was not always driven by climate. Other factors beside climate, such as politics or the introduction of fertilizers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries also in‘ uenced the development of Alpine pasturing.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Lotter, André F. and van Leeuwen, Jacqueline

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0959-6836

Publisher:

Sage

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

18 Dec 2015 09:38

Last Modified:

20 May 2016 13:26

Publisher DOI:

10.1191/0959683602hl544rp

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Varves, climate, land use, eutrophication, baseline conditions, transfer function, multi-proxy approach, diatoms, pollen, Alps, Switzerland, ‘Little Ice Age’, late Holocene

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.73988

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/73988

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