Palynologists study fossil pollen, which was produced by former plants and deposited in lake/marsh sediments. The results of palynological research can help us to reconstruct changes of vegetation, human impact and environmental conditions in the past.

My research is markedly multidisciplinary with an extensive international cooperation. Together with other researchers, changes of Lateglacial and Holocene vegetation, which were triggered by climatic fluctuations and human impact on the environment in various archaeological time periods, are being studied in order to better understand changes of past (and present) landscape. Our main study areas are in Ljubljansko barje, Julian Alps and Bela Krajina regions of Slovenia.

Research areas in Slovenia

Ljubljansko barje

Ljubljansko barje is palaeoecologically and archaeologically very well investigated area. Pollen preservation in waterlogged sediments of Ljubljansko barje is excellent, therefore both, samples from palynological cores and archaeological sites, are being analysed.

The results of multidisciplinary palaeoecological research (Andrič et al. 2008) suggest that at the end of the last Ice Age predominantly pine-birch woodlands were growing around the former lake at Ljubljansko barje. About 11.700 years ago climate became warmer and wetter and the lake was surrounded by mixed, predominantly broadleaved forest. Beech forests spread early in the Holocene, whereas fir-beech forests dominated ca. 9000 years ago. At about 6750-6000 BP climate probably became slightly drier, lake shallower, beech-fir forests retreated. Afterwards beech and fir expanded again, but also declined due to human impact.

Neolithic inhabitants of Ljubljansko barje, who needed open areas for farming were cutting and burning forests to create fields and pastures. In archaeological cultural layers of pile dwelling settlements, which are dated to the 4th millennium BC, plant macrofossils and pollen of cultivated plants (e. g. cereals and flax), were discovered.

In the 18th and 19th centuries AD peat at Ljubljansko barje was cut and burnt to drain the area. In this way palaeoecological record in younger layers of the Holocene was destroyed throughout most of the Ljubljansko barje. Therefore, information about the vegetation history in the last few millennia is preserved only in few places (e.g. at Podpeško jezero, Mali plac, Jurčevo šotišče), and the aim of on-going research in the area is to investigate peat bogs Mali plac and Jurčevo šotišče in vicinity of the Bevke village.

Bibliograpfy

Andrič, M., J. Turk in Velušček A. 2005. Palynological and sedimentological research on Ljubljansko barje (Slovenia). Resnikov prekop site – preliminary results. −IN: Della Casa in M. Trachsel (eds.). WES '04. Wetland Economies and Societies. Proceedings of the international conference Zurich, 10-13 March 2004, Collectio archaeologica 3, 219–220, Zürich.

Andrič, M. 2006. Ali lahko analiza pelodnega zapisa v kulturni plasti arheološkega najdišča pove, kakšna vegetacija je rasla v okolici? Primer: Resnikov prekop. Does pollen record in archaeological ‘cultural layer’ tell us what vegetation was growing around the settlement? Case study: ‘Resnikov prekop’. − In: A. Velušček (ed). Resnikov prekop, najstarejša koliščarska naselbina na Ljubljanskem barju / Resnikov prekop, the oldest Pile-Dwelling Settlement in the Ljubljansko barje. Opera Instituti Archaeologici Sloveniae 10, 103–113, Ljubljana.

Andrič, M. 2007. Why were the Neolithic landscapes of Bela krajina and Ljubljana Marshes regions of Slovenia so dissimilar? Documenta Praehistorica 34: 177-189.

Andrič, M., B. Kroflič, M. J. Toman, N. Ogrinc, T. Dolenec, M. Dobnikar, B. Čermelj, 2008. Late Quaternary vegetation and hydrological change at Ljubljansko barje (Slovenia), Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 270, 150-165.

Andrič, M. 2009. Klimatske spremembe in barjansko rastlinstvo koncem pleistocena in v holocenu, Strani 20-23 In: P. Turk, J. Istenič, T. Knific and T. Nabergoj (eds.), Ljubljanica – kulturna dediščina reke, Ljubljana, Narodni muzej Slovenije.

Andrič, M. 2009. Holocenske paleoekološke in paleohidrološke razmere na Ljubljanskem barju – prispevek k diskusiji. The Holocene palaeoecological and palaeohydrological conditions at Ljubljansko barje – a contribution to discussion. Arheološki vestnik 60: 317-331.

Andrič, M., B. Toškan, J. Dirjec in Gaspari A. 2012. Arheološki in okoljski zapis v sedimentu vodne kotanje iz začetka 1. stoletja n. št. na lokaciji NUK II v Ljubljani / The early 1st century AD water depression at the NUK II site (Emona). − IN: A. Gaspari in M. Erič (eds.), Potopljena preteklost. Arheologija vodnih okolij in raziskovanje podvodne kulturne dediščine v Sloveniji, 409–416, Ljubljana.

Golyeva A. in Andrič M. 2014. Palaeoecological reconstruction of wetlands and Eneolithic land use in Ljubljansko barje (Slovenia) based on biomorphic and pollen analysis, Catena 112, 38-47.

Andrič Maja, Tolar Tjaša, Toškan Borut 2016 Okoljska arheologija in paleoekologija: palinologija, arheobotanika in arheozoologija, Ljubljana.

Andrič M., Človekov vpliv na na rastlinstvo zahodnega Ljubljanskega barja v pozni prazgodovini (pribl. 1000–50 pr. n. št.). Primer: Vrhnika (Dolge njive) / Human impact on the vegetation of the western Ljubljansko barje in late prehistory (ca. 1000–50 cal. BC). Case study: Vrhnika (Dolge njive). − Arheološki vestnik 67, 2016, 259–275.

ANDRIČ Maja, VERBIČ Tomaž, LOMAX Johanna, TOLAR Tjaša. Človekov vpliv na okolje v prazgodovini: primer z obrežja Ljubljanice pri Špici (Ljubljana) / Embankment of the Ljubljanica River at Špica (Ljubljana) and human impact on the environment in late prehistory. − Arheološki vestnik 68, 2017, 479-498.


Ljubljansko barje

 

Julian Alps

Research in the Julian Alps focuses on multidisciplinary investigations of sediment from Lakes Bled, Bohinj and Šijec peat bog (Pokljuka plateau). In the last few years sedimentary cores from several mountain lakes in the Triglav National Park were also collected.

Palaeoecological research of sediment, which deposited in the Lake Bled towards the end of the last Ice Age enabled the reconstruction of climatic fluctuations and changes of vegetation between ca. 20.000–10.000 cal. BP (Andrič et al. 2009). Thin layers of microscopic volcanic ash deriving from Italian and Icelandic volcanos were also discovered (Lane et al. 2011, Andrič and Lane 2011). Currently, investigations of 12m long cores, which were collected from Lakes Bled and Bohinj in 2012, are being carried out. Preliminary results suggest that ca. 6800 years ago the area was affected by a very strong earthquake, whereas in the Iron Age beech forests growing around Lake Bohinj were cut due to metallurgic activities.

At the moment palynological research of mountain lakes in the area of the Triglav National Park (TNP) halted. We are looking for funding for a three year post for a young researcher (PhD student) to analyse pollen in cores collected in Triglav mountain lakes. If you have an idea how to obtain funding to continue research in this wonderful area of TNP, please contact me at maja.andric@zrc-sazu.si.

Bibliography

Goslar, T., W. O. van der Knaap, S. Hicks, M. Andrič, J. Czernik, E. Goslar, S. Räsänen in H. Hyötylä. 2005. Radiocarbon dating of modern peat profiles: Pre- and post-bomb 14C variations in the construction of age-depth models. Radiocarbon 47(1): 115-134.

Sjögren P., W. O. van der Knaap, J. F. N. Leeuwen, M. Andrič in A. Grünig. 2007. The occurrence of an upper decomposed peat layer, or ˝kultureller Trockenhorizont˝, in the Alps and Jura Mountains. Mires and Peat 2: 1–14

Andrič, M., J. Massaferro, U. Eicher, B. Ammann, M. C. Leuenberger, A. Martinčič, E. Marinova in A. Brancelj, 2009. A multi-proxy Late-glacial palaeoenvironmental record from Lake Bled, Slovenia, Hydrobiologia 631: 121–141.

Andrič, M., A. Martinčič, B. Štular, F. Petek, in T. Goslar. 2010. Land-use changes in the Alps (Slovenia) in the fifteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries AD: A comparative study of the pollen record and historical data. The Holocene 20(7): 1023–1037.

Lane, C., M. Andrič, V. L. Cullen in S. P. E. Blockley 2011. The occurrence of distal Icelandic and Italian tephra in the Lateglacial of Lake Bled, Slovenia. Quaternary Science Reviews 30, 1013–1018.

Andrič, M., N. Jaecks Vidic, M. Ogrin in J. Horvat 2011. Paleoekološki podatki o človekovem vplivu ob gozdni meji na planini Klek v Julijskih Alpah / Palaeoecological evidence for human impact at the forest line at Klek in the Julian Alps, Arheološki vestnik 62, 375–392.

Andrič, M. 2011. Poznoglacialna vegetacija v okolici Blejskega jezera in Gribelj (Bela krajina): primerjava v zadnjem stadialu poledenele in nepoledenele pokrajine = Lateglacial vegetation at Lake Bled and Griblje Marsh (Slovenia): a comparison of (in last glacial maximum) glaciated and non-glaciated landscapes. IN: Toškan, B. (ed.). Drobci ledenodobnega okolja. Zbornik ob življenjskem jubileju Ivana Turka / Fragments of Ice Age environments. Poceedings in honour of Ivan Turk's jubilee, Opera Instituti Archaeologici Sloveniae, 21. Ljubljana: Inštitut za arheologijo ZRC SAZU, Založba ZRC, 235–249.

Andrič, M. in C. Lane 2011, Vulkanski pepel in pelod iz Blejskega jezera, Gea 21, okt. 2011, 10–11.

Feurdean A., A. Perşoiu, I. Tanţău, T. Stevens, E.K. Magyari, B.P. Onac, S. Marković, M. Andrič, S. Connor, S. Fărcaş, M. Gałka, T. Gaudeny, W. Hoek, P. Kolaczek, P. Kuneš, M. Lamentowicz, E. Marinova, D.J. Michczyńska, I. Perşoiu, M. Płóciennik, M. Słowiński, M. Stancikaite, P. Sumegi, A. Svensson, T. Tămas, A. Timar, S. Tonkov, M. Toth, S. Veski, K.J. Willis, V. Zernitskaya. 2014, Climate variability and associated vegetation response throughout Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) between 60 and 8 ka, Quaternary Science Reviews 106, 206–224.

Andrič Maja, Tolar Tjaša, Toškan Borut 2016 Okoljska arheologija in paleoekologija: palinologija, arheobotanika in arheozoologija, Ljubljana.


Julian Alps

Bela krajina

In Bela Krajina region of south eastern Slovenia small marshes in vicinity of Mali Nerajac (Mlaka) and the Griblje village were investigated to study the impact of first, Neolithic farmers on the vegetation. Palynological research (Andrič 2007) has demonstrated that Bela Krajina is very old cultural landscape with long history of human impact on the environment. In the last 6000 years (since Neolithic) people were cutting and burning (beech) forests and significantly changed vegetation composition. With moderate human impact on the environment biodiversity increased and mosaic landscape formed. In the past bech (and fir) were widespread, whereas today there is more oak and hornbeam.

Bibliography

Andrič, M. in K. J. Willis 2003. The Phytogeographical Regions of Slovenia: a Consequence of Natural Environmental Variation or Prehistoric Human Activity? Journal of Ecology 91: 807-821, 2003

Andrč, M., Paleookolje v Sloveniji in severnemu delu hrvaške Istre v pozni prazgodovini. / The vegetation of Slovenia and northern Istria in late prehistory. − Arheološki vestnik 55, 2004, 509-525.

Andrič, M. 2007. The Holocene Vegetation Development in Bela krajina (Slovenia) and the Impact of Fist Farmers on the Landscape, The Holocene 17(6), 2007, 763-776

Andrič, M. 2007. Why were the Neolithic landscapes of Bela krajina and Ljubljana Marshes regions of Slovenia so dissimilar? Documenta Praehistorica 34: 177-189.

Andrič, M. 2008. Pelod razkriva preteklost Bele krajine, Proteus 70 (9/10), maj-jun. 2008, 413-420.

Mason, P. in M. Andrič 2009. Neolithic/Eneolithic settlement patterns and Holocene environmental changes in Bela krajina (South-Eastern Slovenia). Documenta Praehistorica 36: 327-335.

Andrič, M. 2011. Poznoglacialna vegetacija v okolici Blejskega jezera in Gribelj (Bela krajina): primerjava v zadnjem stadialu poledenele in nepoledenele pokrajine = Lateglacial vegetation at Lake Bled and Griblje Marsh (Slovenia): a comparison of (in last glacial maximum) glaciated and non-glaciated landscapes. Strani 235-249 In: Toškan B. (eds.). Drobci ledenodobnega okolja : zbornik ob življenjskem jubileju Ivana Turka : proceedings in honour of Ivan Turk's jubilee, Opera Instituti Archaeologici Sloveniae, 21. Ljubljana.

Šilc, U. in M. Andrič 2012. Dolgoročen vpliv človeka na biotsko raznovrstnost: Primerjava fitocenoloških in palinoloških rezultatov (Bela krajina) / Long-term impact of man on biodiversity. A comparison of phytocoenelogical and palynological results (Bela krajina). In: Andrič M. (ed.). Dolgoročne spremembe okolja, Opera Instituti Archaeologici Sloveniae 25, 55-61, Ljubljana.

Andrič Maja, Tolar Tjaša, Toškan Borut 2016 Okoljska arheologija in paleoekologija: palinologija, arheobotanika in arheozoologija, Ljubljana.


Bela krajina

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