Multiproxy analyses of Lake Allos reveal synchronicity and divergence in geosystem dynamics during the Lateglacial/Holocene in the Alps

Abstract : Palaeoenvironmental reconstructions of ecosystem responses to external forcing are generally limited by the difficulty of understanding the geosystem as a whole, because of the complex interactions between ecological compartments. Therefore, identifying which geosystem compartments or proxies co-vary is a prerequisite in unravelling the propagation of disturbances (e.g. climatic or anthropogenic) from one compartment to another. A multiproxy study of a continuous 13,500-year sedimentary profile cored in Lake Allos (European Alps, 2200 m a.s.l) was carried out on the basis of high-resolution sedimentological, geochemical, and botanical analyses, as well as determination of aquatic biotic proxies (diatoms, ostracods). These multiproxy datasets are rare at these high altitudes. Major changes occurred in the course of the palaeoenvironmental history of this alpine watershed at 12,000, 8600, 7200 and 3000 cal. BP. During the Holocene, two main transitions were recorded in all the ecological compartments (8600 and 3000 cal. BP), but the period 4500-3000 cal. BP stands out because of major changes that concerned only the lacustrine ecosystem. The frequent switches in lake level might correspond to the 4.2 ka climatic event. Proximity of this alpine lake to climatically-sensitive thresholds (ice-cover, thermal stratification, hydrological balance) may have amplified climatic signals in the lake ecosystem. This study illustrates the difficulties inherent to the use of common intra-Holocene stratigraphical limits, given that ecological compartments are likely to have different responses to forcing factors depending on the characteristics of the watershed and its capacity to accommodate disturbances. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Rosine Cartier, Elodie Brisset, Frédéric Guiter, Florence Sylvestre, Kazuyo Tachikawa, et al.. Multiproxy analyses of Lake Allos reveal synchronicity and divergence in geosystem dynamics during the Lateglacial/Holocene in the Alps. Quaternary Science Reviews, Elsevier, 2018, 186, pp.60-77. ⟨10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.02.016⟩. ⟨hal-01795351⟩

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