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    Natural and anthropogenic forcing of Holocene lake ecosystem development at Lake Uddelermeer (The Netherlands)

    Engels, Stefan and van Oostrom, R. and Cerli, C. and Dungait, J.A.J. and Jansen, B. and van Aken, J.M. and van Geel, B. and Visser, P.M. (2018) Natural and anthropogenic forcing of Holocene lake ecosystem development at Lake Uddelermeer (The Netherlands). Journal of Paleolimnology 59 (3), pp. 329-347. ISSN 0921-2728.

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    The majority of water bodies in the world is affected by human impact on their catchment, and pollution of freshwater ecosystems is now considered a global problem. Palaeoecological research allows to reconstruct the natural ecosystem variability of such polluted systems, and many reconstructions that date back a few centuries or beyond inform on the natural background of polluted lakes. Only a limited number of studies have so far looked at long term (e.g. Holocene) changes in lake ecosystem status, even though human impact is known to date back for several millennia in some parts of the world. We apply a combination of classic palaeoecological proxies and novel geochemical proxies in our study of the Holocene sediments of Lake Uddelermeer (The Netherlands). Lake Uddelermeer is a shallow freshwater lake that is currently characterized by turbid conditions. These are currently thought to have resulted from increased agricultural activity in the 20th century AD, but human impact in the surroundings of this site date back to 6000 BP (late Mesolithic/ early Neolithic). We show that the lake ecosystem was characterized by a mix of aquatic macrophytes and abundant phytoplankton throughout the Early and Middle Holocene (11.5-6 cal kyr BP). A transition to a lake ecosystem with clear-water conditions and relatively high abundances of ‘isoetids’ coincides with the first signs of human impact on the landscape around Lake Uddelermeer (6000 cal yr BP). An abrupt and dramatic ecosystem shift can be seen at ~1030 cal yr BP when increases in the abundance of algal microfossils and concentrations of sedimentary pigments indicate a transition to a turbid phytoplankton-dominated state. A strong increase in concentrations of faecal biomarkers can be seen only after 1950 AD, indicating that an increased input of manure-derived material into the lake is not the initial cause for eutrophication of the system. Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) suggests that reconstructed lake ecosytem changes are best explained by environmental drivers that show long-term gradual changes (sediment age, water depth). These combined results document the long-term anthropogenic impact on the ecosystem of Lake Uddelermeer and provide evidence for pre-Industrial Era signs of eutrophication.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via the link above.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Research in Environment and Sustainability, Centre for
    Depositing User: Stefan Engels
    Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2017 13:47
    Last Modified: 10 May 2024 16:00


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