- Natural and anthropogenic forcing of Holocene lake ecosystem development at lake Uddelermeer (The Netherlands)
- Journal of Paleolimnology
- Volume | Issue number
- 59 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Lake Uddelermeer (The Netherlands) is characterized by turbid conditions and annual blooms of toxic cyanobacteria, which are supposed to be the result of increased agricultural activity in the twentieth century AD. We applied a combination of classic palaeoecological proxies and novel geochemical proxies to the Holocene sediment record of Lake Uddelermeer (The Netherlands) in order to reconstruct the natural variability of the lake ecosystem and to identify the drivers of the change to the turbid conditions that currently characterize this lake. We show that the lake ecosystem was characterized by a mix of aquatic macrophytes and abundant phytoplankton between 11,500 and 6000 cal year BP. A transition to a lake ecosystem with clear-water conditions and relatively high abundances of ‘isoetids’ coincides with the first signs of human impact on the landscape around Lake Uddelermeer during the Early Neolithic (ca. 6000 cal year BP). An abrupt and dramatic ecosystem shift can be seen at ca. 1030 cal year BP when increases in the abundance of algal microfossils and concentrations of sedimentary pigments indicate a transition to a turbid phytoplankton-dominated state. Finally, a strong increase in concentrations of plant and faecal biomarkers is observed around 1950 AD. Canonical Correspondence Analysis suggests that reconstructed lake ecosystem changes are best explained by environmental drivers that show long-term gradual changes (sediment age, water depth). These combined results document the long-term anthropogenic impact on the ecosystem of Lake Uddelermeer and provide evidence for pre-Industrial Era signs of eutrophication.
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