Timing of Lateglacial vegetation dynamics and respective palaeoenvironmental conditions in southern Estonia: evidence from the sediment record of Lake Nakri

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Abstract

This paper investigates a detailed well-dated Lateglacial floristic colonisation in the eastern Baltic area, ca. 14 000–9000 cal. a BP, using palynological, macrofossil, loss-on-ignition, and 14C data. During 14 000–13 400 cal. a BP, primarily treeless pioneer tundra vegetation existed. Tree birch (Betula sect. Albae) macro-remains and a high tree pollen accumulation rate indicate the presence of forest-tundra with birch and possibly pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) trees during 13 400–12 850 cal. a BP. Palaeobotanical data indicate that the colonisation and development of forested areas were very rapid, arising within a period of less than 50 years. Thus far, there are no indications of conifer macrofossils in Estonia to support the presence of coniferous forests in the Lateglacial period. Signs of Greenland Interstadial 1b cooling during 13 100 cal. a BP are distinguishable. Biostratigraphic evidence indicates that the vegetation was again mostly treeless tundra during the final colder episode of the Lateglacial period associated with Greenland Stadial 1, approximately 12 850–11 650 cal. a BP. This was followed by onset of the Holocene vegetation, with the expansion of boreal forests, in response to rapid climatic warming. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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