, Volume 703, Issue 1, pp 15-31,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

The historical development of vegetation of foreshore mires beside humic lakes: different successional pathways under various environmental conditions

Abstract

The historical development of the hydroseral vegetation of three humic lakes was studied. We applied a combination of methods to reconstruct the past vegetation (plant macroscopic remains, peat decomposition, sediment chemistry and radiocarbon dating). The contemporary environment of these lakes was assessed by vegetation and water chemistry analyses. The oldest foreshore sediments were formed 13075–12700 cal BP (Lake Suchar VI), 10115–9670 cal BP (Lake Suchar III) and 8747–8479 cal BP (Lake Widne). The differences in contemporary vegetation are reflected in the subfossil plant assemblages. From the beginning, poor fens and bogs occurred beside Lake Suchar III, moderately rich and poor fens were developed at Lake Suchar VI, while reedswamps and moderately rich fens occurred at Lake Widne. The foreshore vegetation changed over time but only within a restricted range, specific for each lake corresponding to the hydrochemical differences between the lakes. Lakes are classified as humic if some features are combined, such as the specific vegetation and water parameters. However, over the past few decades escalating climatic and anthropogenic changes could transform the character of these water bodies. The application of multidisciplinary methods permitted comparison of the development of three apparently similar lakes and identification of significant ecological differences.

Handling editor: Jasmine Saros