Abstract Detail

Bryology and Lichenology

Gałka, Mariusz [1], Diaconu, Andrei-Cosmin [2], Loisel, Julie [3], Feurdean, Angelica [4], Hölzer, Adam [5], Knorr, Klaus-Holger [6].

Moss communities as an indicator of mountain peatland ecosystems state. Evidence from multi-proxy paleoecological studies in Central and Western Europe.

Understand how future peatland ecosystems may respond to predicted climate changes (lower precipitation and higher temperature) or human activity (eg. pollution deposition) can be possible by analysing peat profiles. Determine past species dynamics, i.e, the time of appearance and disappearance of various plant species and communities allow for better recognition of the autogenic and allogenic factors responsible for changes in peatland ecosystems. Some mosses have narrow ecological requirements, which makes them sensitive indicators of previous habitat conditions. Detailed multi-proxy palaeoecological studies allow to determine the state of the peatlands and plant communities, which can help inform management and restoration of destroyed peatlands and protection of well-preserved ombrotrophic peatlands in mountain landscapes in Europe. However, the sensitivity of moss communities to autogenic and allogenic factors such as hydrological changes invoked by climate changes or pH changes caused by the deposition of pollutants still remains poorly known in the mountain ranges in Central and Western Europe. To fill this gap we carried out high-resolution, multi-proxy long-term studies including: plant macrofossils, pollen, testate amoebae, micro- and macro-charcoal, geochemical analysis (XRF and stable carbon isotopes), supported by radiocarbon dating with replicate cores in five ombrotrophic peatlands with still active peat-forming process, located in various mountain ranges of the Central and Western Europe: Carpathian Mts. (Romania and Poland), Harz Mts. (Germany) and Schwarzwald Mts. (Germany) and Vosges Mts. (France). In our study we aim to: i) reconstruct local (mainly moss populations) and regional (forest communities) vegetation changes at and around selected ombrotrophic bogs; ii) reconstruct long-term palaeohydrological signal in these bogs using testate amoebae communities and isotopes analysis; iii) reconstruct dust and pollution deposition as indicators of human impact on the bog ecosystems; iv) determine disturbance by the impact of fire for peatland development; v) reconstruct the former moss communities (mainly Sphagnum) in the bog and assess their resilience to disturbance, as an aid in further protection and management of the area. Based on our results we find that: i) some mountain peatland ecosystems retained pristine moss communities character, however, some plant communities changed during increasing impact of allogenic factors such as pollutant deposition; ii) Sphagnum populations, which indicate pristine, ombrotrophic conditions can repeatedly self-regenerate via autogenic processes; iii) reference conditions of plant communities should include Sphagnum fuscum and Sphagnum medium during restoration of the destroyed peatlands, because these species were the main peat-forming species during ombrotrophic stage over hundreds and thousands years; iv) recent climate warming after Little Ice Age and human impact has stimulated the spread of some moss species that were not noted in the past. The research has received support National Science Centre (Poland) grant No UMO-2016/23/B/ST10/00762 (PI: Mariusz Gałka).

1 - University of Lodz, Biogeography, Paleoecology and Nature Protection, Banacha 1/3, Lodz, 90-237, Poland
2 - Babes- Bolyai University, Department of Geology, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
3 - Texas A&M University, Department of Geography, TAMU, USA
4 - Goethe University, Department of Physical Geography, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
5 - independent researcher, Jockgrim, Germany
6 - University of Münster, Institute for Landscape Ecology, Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry Group, Muenster, Germany

plant succession
nature protection
human activity

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: BL2003
Abstract ID:594
Candidate for Awards:None

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