The History and Pattern of Forest and Peatland Formation in the Kaliningrad Region During the Holocene
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Investigations of mire peat deposits in the Kaliningrad Region such as analysis of the botanical composition of peat, pollen analysis and radiocarbon dating provide an opportunity to work out some important palaeogeographical issues related to zonal (climax) and azonal vegetation formation, climatic changes as well as human impact to the environment.
Based on the outcomes of authors’ peat investigations on a number of mires, the main pattern of forest and peatland formation during the Holocene were defined in the Kaliningrad Region in two largest landscape areas: glaciolacustrine plain in the central part of the region and coastal lowland which comprises a vast territory along Curonian Lagoon and in the Neman Delta.
It was stated that the territory of the Kaliningrad Province is to be divided, in palaeoenvironmental respect, onto two different parts each of those could be united with the neighbouring regions of Poland and Lithuania. Both parts are similar, in palynological respect, in the Early and the Middle Holocene but had been obtaining distinguishes in the Late Holocene when conifers became dominating in the north-eastern part of the region while broad-leaved were common in the southern parts, where Carpinus and Fagus became essential components in forest vegetation.
A mire formation was mainly caused by the paludification processes on dryland. Nevertheless, mires in the coastal area along the Curonian Lagoon are peat bodies of a complex genesis their different parts developed in various ways at the initial stage of formation. Large raised bogs are rather recent geological bodies in the region, their transition into Sphagnum bog stage and major formation occurred only in the end of the Middle Holocene and the Late Holocene which is later than in the most part of the forest belt in European Russia.
KeywordsBotanical composition of peat Holocene Palaeogeography Palynology Stratigraphy
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