, 676:223 | Cite as

Cladocera response to Late Glacial to Early Holocene climate change in a South Carpathian mountain lake

  • János KorponaiEmail author
  • Enikő Katalin Magyari
  • Krisztina Buczkó
  • Sanda Iepure
  • Tadeusz Namiotko
  • Dániel Czakó
  • Csilla Kövér
  • Mihály Braun


This study explores changes in cladoceran composition in a high mountain lake of the Retezat (Lake Brazi), the South Carpathian Mountains of Romania, during the Late Glacial–Early Holocene (14,500–11,600 cal. yr. bp) transition using a paleolimnological approach. The lake had a species poor cladoceran community throughout this period. Daphnia longispina, Chydorus sphaericus and Alona affinis were the most common, showing marked fluctuations in their relative abundances through time. Distinct faunal response to warming at the Younger Dryas (YD)/Preboreal transition was recorded by increasing fossil densities and distinct community composition change: Alona affinis became dominant while numbers of Chydorus sphaericus dramatically decreased. In the Early Holocene, the productivity of Lake Brazi seem to have increased as reflected by higher numbers of Cladocera due to appearance of new species (Alona rectangula, A. quadrangularis and A. guttata) which are common in productive waters. Significant negative correlation was found between average dorsal length of daphnid ephippia and the NGRIP δ18O isotope values. Given the absence of fish predation, changes in Daphnia ephippia size were taken to indicate climatic change: larger ephippium size inferred cold conditions during the Late Glacial, while smaller size reflected climate warming during the Early Holocene. We conclude that Cladocera fossils are good indicators of climatic change that happened during the transition from the Late Glacial to the Holocene. We found that climatic conditions can be tracked either by size distribution of Daphnia ephippia (larger ephippium size under colder climate) and/or by community change of cladocerans.


Cladocera remains Chydorids Climate change Mountain lake Romania 



This research was supported by the European Commission through a Marie Curie Reintegration Grant held by E. K. Magyari (MERG-CT-2006-041088: Combining Palaeoecology and Palaeogenetics), the Bólyai Scholarship (BO/00518/07), and OTKA Research Funds (F026036, PD73234). This is MTA-MTM Paleo Contribution No. 140. J. Korponai was granted by TÁMOP4.2.2-08/1-2008-0020 and TÁMOP 4.2.1.B-09/1/KONV-2010-0006. K. Buczkó was granted by OTKA K83999. The research of S. Iepure was supported by the Sectorial Operational Program for Human Resources Development 2007–2013, co-financed by the European Social Fund, under the project number POSDRU 89/1.5/S/60189 with the title ‘Postdoctoral Programs for Sustainable Development in a Knowledge Based Society’.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • János Korponai
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Enikő Katalin Magyari
    • 3
  • Krisztina Buczkó
    • 4
  • Sanda Iepure
    • 5
    • 6
  • Tadeusz Namiotko
    • 7
  • Dániel Czakó
    • 8
  • Csilla Kövér
    • 2
  • Mihály Braun
    • 9
  1. 1.West-Transdanubian District Water AuthorityKeszthelyHungary
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and Environmental SciencesUniversity of West HungarySzombathelyHungary
  3. 3.HAS-NHMUS Research Group for PaleontologyBudapestHungary
  4. 4.Department of BotanyHungarian Natural History MuseumBudapestHungary
  5. 5.Department of MineralogyBabes-Bolyai UniversityClujRomania
  6. 6.Speleological Institute “Emil Racovitza”, Deptartment of Cluj (Biospeleology)Cluj NapocaRomania
  7. 7.Department of Genetics, Laboratory of LimnozoologyUniversity of GdanskGdanskPoland
  8. 8.School of Earth Sciences and GeographyKingston UniversityKingston-upon-Thames, SurreyUK
  9. 9.Department of Inorganic and Analytical ChemistryUniversity of DebrecenDebrecenHungary

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