The vegetation history of Lake Mert and its surroundings for the last 6600 years (Kırklareli, NW Türkiye)

Rüya Yılmaz Dağdeviren*, Nurgül Karlıoğlu Kılıç, Cerennaz Yakupoğlu, Nurettin Yakupoğlu, Kürşad Kadir Eriş

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The primary aim of this study is to determine the Middle-Late Holocene vegetation history of the İğneada Longoz (Floodplain) Forests around Lake Mert, located in Kırklareli, using high-resolution palynological analysis conducted on the MRT-04 core. Pollen analyses was performed on sediment samples collected from 67 different levels within the core. Pollen counting and identification were performed using a Leica DM750 light microscope, with a minimum of 500 terrestrial pollen grains counted per sample. The age of the lake was determined to be 6600 years old through radiocarbon dating of the core. According to the findings from the pollen analysis, deciduous mixed oak forests have dominated the region in and around Lake Mert for the past 6600 years. Within these mixed oak forests, Quercus cerris type (deciduous oaks) is predominant, with notable contributions from Fagus, Carpinus, Corylus, and Tilia. This forest composition has displayed a consistent pattern, except for changes attributed to the expansion of temperate species and human influences. The distribution of mixed oak forests began to decline around 1360 BP, coinciding with a significant increase in the presence of Alnus, Fraxinus, and Ulmus. These trees are characteristic species of floodplain forest and indicate the initiation of the formation of the İğneada Longoz Forests after 1360 BP. Furthermore, around 420 BP, there was a substantial decrease in the pollen percentages of Quercus and Fagus. During this period of declining mixed oak forests, Plantago and Ambrosia appeared for the first time in the pollen diagram. The reduction in arboreal plant taxa and the rise of herbaceous taxa such as Plantago, Ambrosia, and Poaceae, which serve as indicators of human impact, signify the conversion of forested areas into agricultural and pasture lands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalQuaternary International
Volume679
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA

Funding

In this paper, the fossil pollen analysis of the MRT-04 core was investigated as a part of the doctoral thesis of the corresponding author and this doctoral thesis constituted a part the TUBITAK project (Project No: 120O290 ). We would like to express our gratitude to the TUBITAK (Project No: 120O290 ) and Scientific Research Projects Coordination Unit of Istanbul University-Cerrahpaşa (DKEP Project No: 35881 ) for their support in the collection of the core in the fieldwork and age dating analyses of this core. We also extend our thanks to the Council of Higher Education for 100/2000 Doctoral Scholarship and TUBITAK for 2211-A Doctoral Scholarship Programs for their support of the corresponding author's doctoral thesis. Additionally, we would like to thank Dursun ACAR, Erdem KIRKHAN, Asen SABUNCU, and Elif Ayşe YILDIRIM for their dedicated assistance particularly during the core collection phase of the fieldwork conducted in Lake Mert. The earliest appearance of single pollen grains of Juglans along the southern Bulgarian Black Sea coast during the Holocene is registered as Preboreal, ca. 10,000 cal. BP (Filipova-Marinova, 2003). The natural or human-induced origin of walnuts in these regions remains a subject of debate (Filipova-Marinova et al., 2013). Moreover, the discovery of Juglans pollen in the studied core dating back to 6600 BP suggests the continued preservation of walnuts in this area. The inclusion of this taxon in the Lake Mert pollen diagram further supports its relict status, and potentially originating from the Balkan Peninsula (Bottema, 1980) Furthermore, in the study conducted by Pollegioni et al. (2017), the actual distribution of walnuts in Europe resulted from the combined effects of expansion from multiple refugia after the Last Glacial Maximum and its human exploitation over the last 5000 years.In this paper, the fossil pollen analysis of the MRT-04 core was investigated as a part of the doctoral thesis of the corresponding author and this doctoral thesis constituted a part the TUBITAK project (Project No: 120O290). We would like to express our gratitude to the TUBITAK (Project No: 120O290) and Scientific Research Projects Coordination Unit of Istanbul University-Cerrahpaşa (DKEP Project No: 35881) for their support in the collection of the core in the fieldwork and age dating analyses of this core. We also extend our thanks to the Council of Higher Education for 100/2000 Doctoral Scholarship and TUBITAK for 2211-A Doctoral Scholarship Programs for their support of the corresponding author's doctoral thesis. Additionally, we would like to thank Dursun ACAR, Erdem KIRKHAN, Asen SABUNCU, and Elif Ayşe YILDIRIM for their dedicated assistance particularly during the core collection phase of the fieldwork conducted in Lake Mert.

FundersFunder number
Centre Azrieli de recherche sur l'autisme, Institut et Hôpital Neurologiques de Montréal
Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştırma Kurumu120O290
Istanbul Üniversitesi-Cerrahpasa35881

    Keywords

    • Lake Mert
    • Pollen analysis
    • Vegetation history
    • İğneada Longoz Forest

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