Basic information
Original title:
Rastlinstvo in hidrologija Ljubljanskega barja nekoč, danes in jutri – posledica sukcesije, človekovega vpliva ali klimatskih nihanj?
Researchers involved:
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Marijan Nečemer, PhD
Nives Ogrinc, PhD
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Borut Toškan, PhDStojan Žigon
1 July 2014–28 February 2018

Research project brings together researchers working across the fields of palaeoecology, ecology and archaeology, to study past and present environment of the eastern Alpine wetlands of Slovenia in order to better understand environmental processes, formation of cultural landscape, and the reasons for changes of vegetation and hydrology. The main study area is Ljubljansko barje marshy area, where, due to wet hydrological conditions, lake and marsh sediments are commonplace and the preservation of pile dwelling Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological sites is good. In few parts of Ljubljansko barje, ombrotrophic plant species still survive, therefore it is possible to study modern peat bog ecosystems alongside the palaeo record.

Research project will focus on high-resolution multi-proxy investigation of sedimentary core, collected at Mali plac, and will include the following analyses: pollen and microscopic charcoal analysis, loss-on-ignition, analysis of plant macrofossils, diatoms, stable isotopes, biomarkers and radiocarbon dating. Modern peat bog ecosystems of Mali plac will be studied along palaeorecord in order to better understand palaeorecord and to help us to plan for water outflow regulations and other renaturation measures at Mali plac. We will explore the intensity, temporal and spatial scale of the Lateglacial-Holocene environmental changes to better understand how dissimilar natural archives (small, hydrologically simple vs. big hydrologically complex or simple basins) react to climate changes and human impact, which changes of vegetation and hydrology were local/regional and whether they were triggered by climatic fluctuations or any other drivers (e.g. human impact). We will address the question of how the archaeological settlement pattern at Ljubljansko barje was affected by changes of palaeoenvironment (e.g. vegetation, hydrology) and how people affected their environment by agriculture and metallurgical activities.

Mali plac in Ljubljansko barje

The palaeoecological record from this study will be compared with other study sites in Ljubljansko barje (central Slovenia), Alpine region of northwestern Slovenia, as well as palaeoclimate and archaeological data in Slovenia and Europe. Slovenia is located in a transitional zone between the Central Europe, the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Balkans and the Pannonian plain and is thus sensitive to climate fluctuations. This research will therefore have much wider (European/global) perspective to test synchronicity of climate change between the Greenland and other areas and to better understand possible leads and lags of resulting palaeoenvironmental changes in different regions of Europe.