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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications / Middle-Holocene alluvial forests and associated fluvial environments: A multi-proxy reconstruction from the lower Scheldt, N Belgium

Koen Deforce, Annelies Storme, Jan Bastiaens, Sofie Debruyne, Luc Denys, Anton Ervynck, Erwin Meylemans, Herman Stieperaere, Wim Van Neer and Philippe Crombé (2014)

Middle-Holocene alluvial forests and associated fluvial environments: A multi-proxy reconstruction from the lower Scheldt, N Belgium

The Holocene, 24:1550– 1564.

Analyses of pollen, plant macrofossils (seeds, fruits, wood and mosses), molluscs, diatoms and vertebrate (mainly fish) remains allowed a detailed reconstruction of a middle-Holocene alluvial forest and its associated hydrological conditions. The use of multiple proxies resulted in a taxonomically more detailed and environmentally more comprehensive understanding of terrestrial as well as aquatic habitats. The results demonstrate possible biases in palaeoecological reconstructions of alluvial and estuarine environments drawn from single proxies. Many locally occurring woody taxa were underrepresented or remained undetected by pollen analyses. Seeds and fruits also proved to be inadequate to detect several locally important taxa, such as Ulmus and Hedera helix. Apparently brackish conditions inferred from diatoms, pollen and other microfossils conflicted strikingly with the evidence from molluscs, fish bones and botanical macroremains which suggest a freshwater environment. Brackish sediment (and the microfossil indicators) is likely to have been deposited during spring tides or storm surges, when estuarine waters penetrated more inland than usual. Despite the reworking and deposition of estuarine and saltmarsh sediment well above the tidal node at such events, local salinity levels largely remained unaffected.
Peer Review, International Redaction Board, Impact Factor
IF 3.794
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