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

Late Glacial and Holocene multi-proxy paleoecology in the Southern Carpathian Mountains: quantitative reconstructions and promising new molecular research directions

Enikő Magyari1, János Korponai2, Mónika Tóth3, Mihály Braun4, Katalin Hubay4, Zoltán Szabó1, Gabriella Darabos1, Ivett Pálfi1, Miklós Bálint5, Zsuzsanna Pató6, Daniel Veres7, and Krisztina Buczkó8
Enikő Magyari et al.
  • 1Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Science, Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Department of Environmental and Landscape Geography, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/C, 1117 Budapest, Hungary
  • 2Department of Water Supply and Sewerage, Faculty of Water Science, National University of Public Service, Bajcsy-Zs. str.12-14., 6500 Baja, Hungary
  • 3Centre for Ecological Research, GINOP Sustainable Ecosystems Group, Klebelsberg Kuno str. 3, H-8237 Tihany, Hungary
  • 4Isotope Climatology and Environmental Research Centre, Institute for Nuclear Research (ATOMKI), Debrecen H-4001, P.O Box 51, Hungary
  • 5Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrum (BiK-F), Senckenberganlage 25, D-60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • 6Department of Plant Systematics, Ecology and Theoretical Biology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/C, 1117 Budapest, Hungary
  • 7Romanian Academy, Institute of Speleology, Clinicilor 5, 400006, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • 8Centre for Ecological Research, Danube Research Institute, Karolina str. 29, H-1113 Budapest, Hungary

Over the last 10 years several alpine lakes were studied from the Southern Carpathian Mountains (SCM) using paleoecological, geochemical and stable isotope techniques. The aim of these studies were to obtain quantitative climate reconstructions for the alpine region for the Late Glacial (LG) and Holocene, reconstruct tree and timberline changes and examine how rapid climate change events manifested in this region, what are the regions characteristics. Absolute chronologies were also supported here for the first time with tephra chronology in the Early Holocene. In addition, environmental DNA studies were used to explore what molecular techniques can add to a more exact and often species level reconstruction of past floristic compositions. This talk will summarize these researches and use multivariate statistics to examine leads and lags in ecosystem response at multiple sites (Retezat, Pareng, Fogaras, Ciomadul Mts). These analyses first of all demonstrate that the amplitude of warming was attenuated in the SCM at the GS-2/GI-1 transition relative to NW Europe (~2,8-3 oC), summer temperatures increased abruptly already at 16.2 ka cal BP in direct response to the weakening polar circulation and the tripartite GS-1 had weak summer temperature decrease (<1 oC), but winter cooling was strong. Regarding the order of ecosystem changes, lead and lag analysis revealed <50 yr lag in vegetation response, 0-100 lag in aquatic floristic response and ~100-150 yr lag in aquatic faunal response to external forcing. Environmental DNA studies showed that despite the method is capable to better capture grass (Poaceae) floristic diversity and replicates woody specie composition obtained by plant macrofossil data, it fails to provide higher resolution for the herbaceous flora around the studied lakes that feature was explained partly by the incompleteness of reference DNA sequences for the trnL region and the DNA preservation characteristics of alpine lakes. Using these pioneer studies, several promising research directions were identified for this region: modelling of projected tree and timberline changes in combination with reconstructed data, using eDNA techniques to decipher alpine farming histories in the mountains and its impact on late Holocene tree and timberline change, reconstruction the accelerating speed of ecosystem change over the last 100 yr. in alpine lakes and calling attention for the irreversibility of these changes, demonstrating tipping points. These will be discussed in the presentation.

How to cite: Magyari, E., Korponai, J., Tóth, M., Braun, M., Hubay, K., Szabó, Z., Darabos, G., Pálfi, I., Bálint, M., Pató, Z., Veres, D., and Buczkó, K.: Late Glacial and Holocene multi-proxy paleoecology in the Southern Carpathian Mountains: quantitative reconstructions and promising new molecular research directions, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16242,, 2021.