Post-glacial vegetation and environment of the Labanoras Region, East Lithuania: implications for regional history

Andrejus Gaidamavičius, Miglė Stančikaitė, Dalia Kisielienė, Jonas Mažeika, Gražyna Gryguc


Multiproxy data (pollen, plant macrofossils, 14C dates and loss-on-ignition measurements) obtained from the Bevardis and Verpstinis lakes in the Labanoras area (East Lithuania) were used to reconstruct a vegetation history and to reveal major environmental features during post-glacial time. Biostratigraphical data indicates ongoing sedimentation in Verpstinis Lake since the final stages of the AllerÝd. The pollen data shows that Pinus-dominated forest flourished during the AllerÝd, while the Younger Dryas was characterized by open shrub/herb/grass vegetation with highly abundant Juniperus. These are evidences of severe climatic conditions in the area. The 14C data suggests that sedimentation started in Bevardis Lake with the onset of the Holocene. Picea immigrated into the Verpstinis Lake surroundings in the Late Glacial, just before 11 500 cal yr BP according to the palynological evidence. The expanding deciduous taxa, e.g., Corylus (ca. 10 200–10 000 cal yr BP), Alnus (8200–8000 cal yr BP), and broad-leaved species with Ulmus (ca. 10 000 cal yr BP), Tilia (7700–7400 cal yr BP) and Quercus (5200 cal yr BP), formed a dense mixed forest where Picea appeared at 7300–6800 cal yr BP. Both diagrams show only negligible human impact. It seems that natural factors were responsible for the formation of vegetation cover and environment in the study area throughout the post-glacial.


E Lithuania, post-glacial, environment, vegetation dynamics, plant macrofossil, pollen

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