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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
29 Sep 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).
Vegetation history and palaeoclimate at Lake Dojran (FYROM/Greece) during the Late Glacial and Holocene
Alessia Masi1, Alexander Francke2,3, Caterina Pepe1, Matthias Thienemann2, Bernd Wagner2, and Laura Sadori1 1Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy
2Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
3Wollongong Isotope Geochronology Laboratory, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
Abstract. A new high-resolution pollen and NPPs (Non-Pollen Palynomorphs) analysis has been performed on the sediments of Lake Dojran, a transboundary lake located at the border between Greece and Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). The sequence covers the last 12 500 years and provides information on vegetational dynamics of the Late Glacial and Holocene for southern Balkans. A robust age-model, sedimentological, diatom, and biomarker analyses published previously have been the base 5 for a multi-perspective interpretation of the new palynological data. Pollen analysis revealed that the Late Glacial is characterized by steppic taxa with prevailing Amaranthaceae, Artemisia and Poaceae. The arboreal vegetation starts to rise after 11 500 yr BP, taking a couple of millennia to be definitively attested. Holocene vegetation is characterized by the dominance of mesophilous plants. Quercus robur type and Pinus are the most abundant taxa followed by Quercus cerris type, Quercus ilex type and Ostrya/Carpinus orientalis. The first attestation of human presence can be presumed at 5000 yr BP for the 10 contemporary presence of cereals, Juglans and Rumex. A drop of both pollen concentration and influx together with a δ18Ocarb shift indicates increasing aridity and precedes clear and continuous human signs since 4000 yr BP. Also a correlation between Pediastrum boryanum and fecal stanol suggests that the increase of nutrient in the water is related to human presence and pasture. An undoubted expansion of human-related plants occurs since 2600 yr BP when cereals, arboreal cultivated and other synanthropic non-cultivated taxa are found. A strong reduction in arboreal vegetation occurred at 2000 yr BP, when the strong 15 Roman Empire impacted on a landscape undergoing climate dryness in the whole Mediterranean area. In recent centuries the human impact still remains high but spots of natural vegetation are preserved. The Lake Dojran multi-proxy analysis including pollen data provide a valuable contribution to the palaeoenvironmental reconstruction and the comprehension of the past vegetation dynamics of southern Balkans.

Citation: Masi, A., Francke, A., Pepe, C., Thienemann, M., Wagner, B., and Sadori, L.: Vegetation history and palaeoclimate at Lake Dojran (FYROM/Greece) during the Late Glacial and Holocene, Clim. Past Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Alessia Masi et al.
Alessia Masi et al.
Alessia Masi et al.


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Short summary
The first high-resolution Lake Dojran pollen record for the last 12 500 yr is presented. The ecological succession shows Late Glacial steppe vegetation gradually replaced, since 11 500 yr BP, by Holocene mesophilous forests. First human traces are recorded around 5000 yr BP and increased considerably since the Bronze Age. Pollen data, together with sedimentological, biomarker and diatom data available from the same core, highly contribute to understand the environmental history of the Balkans.
The first high-resolution Lake Dojran pollen record for the last 12 500 yr is presented. The...