Three lake sediment sequences (lakes Nero, Chashnitsy, Zaozer'e) from the Rostov-Jaroslavl' region north of Moscow were studied to provide information on palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental changes during the past 15,000 cal yr. The multi-proxy study (i.e., pollen, macrofossils, mineral magnetic measurements, total carbon, nitrogen and sulphur) is chronologically constrained by AMS 14C measurements. Lake Nero provided the longest sedimentary record back to ca. 15,000 cal yr BP, while sediment accumulation began around ca. 11,000 cal yr BP in the two other lakes, possibly due to melting of permafrost. Limnic plant macrofossil remains suggest increased lake productivity and higher mean summer temperatures after 14,500 cal yr BP. While the late glacial vegetation was dominated by Betula and Salix shrubs and various herbs, it appears that Betula sect. Albae became established as early as 14,000 cal yr BP. Major hydrological changes in the region led to distinctly lower lake levels, starting 13,000 cal yr BP in Lake Nero and ca. 9000 cal yr BP in lakes Chashnitsy and Zaozer'e, which are situated at higher elevations. These changes resulted in sedimentary hiatuses in all three lakes that lasted 3500-4500 cal yr. Mixed broad-leaved - coniferous forests were widespread in the area between 8200 and 6100 cal yr BP and developed into dense, species-rich forests between 6100 and 2500 cal yr BP, during what was likely the warmest interval of the studied sequences. Agricultural activity is documented since 500 cal yr BP, but probably began earlier, since Rostov was a major capital by 862 A.D. This apparent gap may be caused by additional sedimentary hiatuses around 2500 and 500 cal yr BP.
- Programområde 5: Natur og klima