Palynology: Research equipment | Reference collections | Links | Long-term environmental changes

Current research: Dinarids

Cerkniško jezero (Lake Cerknica)

Dinaric phytogeographic region is one of most forested landscapes of Slovenia. At the beginning of the Holocene Cerkniško jezero was surrounded by predominantly broadleaved forests (oak, hazel and lime). Beech and fir spread early in the Holocene and were dominating species in Dinaric forests for at least 8500 years. Human impact on the environment (forest cutting and burning) in the last ca. 5500 years is seen on the pollen diagram, but increased in the Roman time period ca. 2200 years ago, when the present day landscape formed (Andrič in Willis 2003; Andrič 2004).

Palynological coring at Cerkniško jezero was performed in the southern part of the lake in vicinity of Gorenje jezero village, where the Holocene sedimentation rate was very slow. In the future we would like to collect samples for pollen analysis also in other parts of Cerkniško jezero and obtain longer Holocene sequences, suitable for very detailed analysis of vegetation changes.

In cooperation with forest ecologists we would also like to address the following research questions: What was the vegetation history in other parts of Dinaric region, where human impact on forest composition was presumably less intensive? What is the ‘natural’ forest composition and which are the main driving forces that determine the proportions of beech and fir? How wild herbivores affect vegetation composition today and what was their impact in the past?

Literature

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

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

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