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Natural and anthropogenic changes in a lake-forest system in Bukovina (Romania) since 1340 AD documented by sedimentary organic geochemistry (C, N and n-alkanes)
- Karlik, Máté, Fekete, József, Mindrescu, Marcel, Grădinaru, Ionela, Bozsó, Gábor, Bíró, Lóránt, Kern, Zoltán
- Quaternary international 2018 v.493 pp. 166-175
- C3 plants, afforestation, algae, alkanes, anthropogenic activities, carbon, cold, deforestation, embryophytes, geochemistry, ice, lakes, landscapes, nitrogen, nitrogen content, organic matter, pastures, sediments, stable isotopes, vegetation, watersheds, Carpathian region, Romania
- Lake Bolătău-Feredeu is a small (surface: 0.3 ha; catchment area: 31 ha) landslide-dammed lake in Bukovina (Eastern Carpathians, Romania). Elemental concentration, stable isotope composition of carbon and nitrogen, and n-alkane composition of the saturated hydrocarbon fraction of the organic material were analyzed along the sediment profile from Lake Bolătău-Feredeu covering the past ∼700 years. The ranges of δ¹³C values (−30.5 to −26.6‰) and C/N atomic ratios (10.5 and 15.4) placed the organic material of the recent Bolătău-Feredeu sediment between the C3 Land Plants and the lacustrine algae. The n-alkane proxies provide better distinction between organic matter inputs. Detected major shifts in the n-alkane composition and the C and N concentrations along with the stable isotope compositions pointed towards three distinct stages in the environmental history of the lake-catchment system. The proxy information indicate a substantial landscape change characterized by deforestation and an increase in open pastureland with herbaceous vegetation from ∼1820. The C/N, δ¹⁵N, and δ¹³C values showed the highest variability probably linked to a variable lacustrine environment and decreased productivity in the catchment between ∼1640 and 1760. It can be assumed that the extended periods of lake ice cover during the cold decades experienced at the turn of the 17ᵗʰ-18th centuries resulted in diminished biological productivity both in the lake and its catchment. Finally, afforestation and the decline in lake productivity have been reconstructed for the period of ∼1470–1560.