EGU2020-19955, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Central European vegetation and climate dynamics during the past 130 ka at Füramoos, SW Germany

Oliver Kern1, Frederik Allstädt1, Andreas Koutsodendris1, Bertil Mächtle2, Gerd Schukraft2, Oliver Heiri3, and Jörg Pross1
Oliver Kern et al.
  • 1Institute of Earth Sciences, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2Institute of Geography, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 3Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland

To better understand the response of Central European vegetation to rapid climate change during the late Quaternary, we have revisited the Füramoos peat bog in southwestern Germany. Located between two moraine ridges of Rissian age and comprising a near-complete sedimentary sequence from late Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 6 to 1, this peat bog represents the longest continuous pollen record from the last glacial-interglacial cycle north of the Alps. The Füramoos site has been in the focus of several palynological studies in the past, showing that it presents an excellent archive to study the impact of Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) events on the Central European ecosystems (e.g., Müller et al., 2003). However, these previous studies were only of limited temporal resolution, which has yet precluded detailed insight into the ecosystem response to short-term climate change. We present a new, highly resolved pollen record (temporal resolution: 80–200 yrs) and XRF core scanning data from Füramoos spanning the past ~130 ka based on two new drill cores that consist of peat and lake sediments (Kern et al., 2019).

Our results show that closed temperate forests thrived at Füramoos during full interglacials characterized by Alnus, Corylus, Quercus, and Ulmus. The major difference between the past two interglacials is that Fagus dominates during MIS 1 whereas it is mostly absent during MIS 5e. During MIS 5, the vegetation evolved from closed temperate (MIS 5e) to boreal forests (dominated by Betula, Picea, and Pinus; MIS 5d–5a). The youngest part of the last interglacial (MIS 5d–5a) is marked by six distinct forests contractions (decreases in arboreal pollen by ~30–50%) before the establishment of a steppe vegetation that prevailed throughout the Last Glacial (MIS 2–4). In addition, seven transient increases in tree-pollen percentages document the expansion of boreal forests during MIS 2–4; they are associated with synchronous increases of Si, Ti, K and Fe contents as evidenced in XRF data.

We attribute the forest contractions during MIS 5d–5a to the cooling events C19–C24 known from marine records in the North Atlantic and terrestrial records from southern Europe. Moreover, the forest expansions during MIS 2–4 are associated with warm and moist conditions occurring during D-O events 7–12, and 14. In contrast, D-O events 13 and 15–19 don’t leave an imprint on the vegetation although their presence is clearly documented in the XRF data. Our findings emphasize that the sediments from Füramoos are exceptionally well suited to reconstruct ecosystem dynamics in Central Europe yielding unprecedented insight into the vegetation response to short-term climatic forcing north of the Alps during the past 130 kyrs.


Müller, U.C., Pross, J., Bibus, E., 2003. Vegetation response to rapid climate change in Central Europe during the past 140,000 yr based on evidence from the Füramoos pollen record. Quaternary Research 59, 235–245.

Kern, O.A., Koutsodendris, A., Mächtle, B., et al., 2019. X-ray fluorescence core scanning yields reliable semiquantitative data on the elemental composition of peat and organic-rich lake sediments. Science of the Total Environment 697, 134110.

How to cite: Kern, O., Allstädt, F., Koutsodendris, A., Mächtle, B., Schukraft, G., Heiri, O., and Pross, J.: Central European vegetation and climate dynamics during the past 130 ka at Füramoos, SW Germany, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19955,, 2020

This abstract will not be presented.