Hydrobiologia

, Volume 631, Issue 1, pp 29–63 | Cite as

Palaeolimnology of the last crater lake in the Eastern Carpathian Mountains: a multiproxy study of Holocene hydrological changes

  • Enikő Magyari
  • Krisztina Buczkó
  • Gusztáv Jakab
  • Mihály Braun
  • Zoltán Pál
  • Dávid Karátson
  • István Pap
PALAEOLIMNOLOGY

Abstract

A multi-proxy investigation (loss-on-ignition, major and trace elements, pollen, plant macrofossil and siliceous algae) was carried out on the sediment of a crater lake (Lake Saint Ana, 950 m a.s.l.) from the Eastern Carpathian Mountains. Diatom-based transfer functions were applied to estimate the lake’s trophic status and pH, while reconstruction of the water-depth changes was based on the plant macrofossil and diatom records. The lowest Holocene water depths were found between 9000 and 7400 calibrated BP years, when the crater was occupied by Sphagnum-bog. Significant increases in water depth were found from 5350(1), 3300(2) and 2700 cal yr BP. Of these, the first two coincided with major terrestrial vegetation changes, namely (1) the establishment of Carpinus betulus on the crater slope and (2) the replacement of the lakeshore Picea abies forest by Fagus sylvatica. The chemical record indicated significant soil changes along with the canopy changes (from coniferous to deciduous) that led to increased in-lake productivity and pH. A further increase in water depth around 2700 cal yr BP resulted in stable thermal stratification and hypolimnetic anoxia that via P-release further increased in-lake productivity and eventually led to phytoplankton blooms with large populations of Scenedesmus. High productivity was depressed by anthropogenic lakeshore forest clearances from ca. 1000 cal yr BP that led to the re-establishment of P. abies on the lakeshore and consequent acidification of the lake water. On the whole, these data suggest that Lake Saint Ana is a vulnerable ecosystem: in-lake productivity is higher under deciduous canopy and litter, and considerably repressed by coniferous canopy and litter. The lake today subsists in a managed environment that is far from its natural state. This would be a dense F. sylvatica forest supplying more nutrients and keeping up a more productive in-lake flora and fauna.

Keywords

Lake level change Romania Pollen Macrofossil Siliceous algae Sediment chemistry 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enikő Magyari
    • 1
  • Krisztina Buczkó
    • 2
  • Gusztáv Jakab
    • 3
  • Mihály Braun
    • 4
  • Zoltán Pál
    • 5
  • Dávid Karátson
    • 6
  • István Pap
    • 7
  1. 1.Hungarian Natural History Museum Palaeonthological Research GroupHungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Department of BotanyHungarian Natural History MuseumBudapestHungary
  3. 3.Institute of Environmental SciencesSzent István UniversitySzarvasHungary
  4. 4.Department of Inorganic and Analytical ChemistryUniversity of DebrecenDebrecenHungary
  5. 5.Department of Physical Geography, Faculty of GeographyBabes Bolyai University of ClujCluj-NapocaRomania
  6. 6.Department of Physical GeographyEötvös Loránd University of BudapestBudapestHungary
  7. 7.Department of Mineralogy and GeologyUniversity of DebrecenDebrecenHungary

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