EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Holocene reconstruction of plant and mammal communities in the Austrian and Italian Alps

Scarlett Zetter1, Sandra Garces Pastor1, Youri Lammers1, Antony Gavin Brown1,2, Andreas Tribsch3, Eric Coissac4, Sebastien Lavergne4, Peter D. Heintzman1, and Inger G. Alsos1
Scarlett Zetter et al.
  • 1The Arctic University Museum of Norway, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway.
  • 2School of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK.
  • 3Department of Biosciences, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
  • 4Laboratoire d'écologie alpine (LECA), CNRS, Université Grenoble-Alpes, Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes, France

The Eastern Alps in Europe have a rich alpine biodiversity and a long archaeological history. However, the palaeoecological record of this region has been relatively understudied, which has limited our understanding of the formation of the contemporary vegetation since the end of the last Ice Age, including the likely impacts of changes in climate and human pressures through pasturing and agriculture. To fill this knowledge gap, we are using plant and mammal sedaDNA taken from five sub-alpine to alpine Holocene lake cores in the Austrian and Italian Eastern Alps: Grosser Winterleitensee, Krummschnabelsee, Mittlerer Kaltenbachsee and Sulzkarsee (Austria), and Laghetti Colbricon (Italy). We will outline our first results on full plant community reconstructions from some lakes and on the mammal presence. Findings from the plant record will allow us for uncovering the Holocene dynamics of plant communities, and for identifying key intervals where biodiversity may have been strongly affected by anthropogenic factors and climate change. The mammal sedaDNA data will also be used to track the presence of domestic livestock through time and therefore provide insight into past human pastoral practices in the region.

How to cite: Zetter, S., Garces Pastor, S., Lammers, Y., Brown, A. G., Tribsch, A., Coissac, E., Lavergne, S., Heintzman, P. D., and Alsos, I. G.: Holocene reconstruction of plant and mammal communities in the Austrian and Italian Alps, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19582,, 2020

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