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Subfossil markers of climate change during the Roman Warm Period of the late Holocene

Jach, Renata, Knutelski, Stanisław, Uchman, Alfred, Hercman, Helena, Dohnalik, Marek
Die Naturwissenschaften 2018 v.105 no.1-2 pp. 6
Acari, Buprestidae, Holocene epoch, Lucanidae, Lymexylidae, adults, alluvium, boring insects, climate change, dendrochronology, mites, pupae, river valleys, rivers, villages, Carpathian region, Poland
Abundant bog oak trunks occur in alluvial deposits of the Raba River in the village of Targowisko (southern Poland). Several of them contain galleries of the great capricorn beetle (Cerambyx cerdo L.). A well-preserved subfossil larva and pupa, as well as adults of this species, are concealed in some of the galleries. These galleries co-occur with boring galleries of other insects such as ship-timber beetles (Lymexylidae) and metallic wood borers (Buprestidae). A dry larva of a stag beetle (Lucanidae) and a mite (Acari) have been found in the C. cerdo galleries. Selected samples of the trunks and a sample of the C. cerdo larva were dated, using radiocarbon and dendrochronological methods, to the period from 45 BC to AD 554; one sample was dated to the period from 799 to 700 BC. Accumulation of the channel alluvia containing the bog oak trunks is synchronous with the Roman Warm Period (late antiquity/Early Mediaeval times). The most recent part of this period correlates with massive accumulations of fallen oak trunks noted from various river valleys in the Carpathian region and dated to AD 450–570. The results indicate that C. cerdo was more abundant within the study area during the Roman Warm Period than it is today.