Vegetation and climate changes within and around the Polistovo-Lovatskaya mire system (Pskov Oblast, north-western Russia) during the past 10,500 years
Palaeoenvironmental conditions during the last 10,500 years cal BP are reconstructed for the vicinity of the Polistovo-Lovatskaya mire system in Pskov Oblast (administrative division), Russia, using the latest data from pollen and plant macrofossil records, ash content, radiocarbon dating and the moisture index of samples obtained from the Kokorevskoe peat core in the central part of that mire system. Comparing the results of this study with earlier data obtained from neighbouring sites in southern Estonia, northern Belarus and central Russia indicates a great similarity of the main patterns of vegetation changes throughout the Holocene. Certain distinctions were also observed along this longitude associated with changing climate and local post-glacial processes. The vegetation dynamics of the Polistovo-Lovatskaya mire system during the Holocene have specific features, such as a late increase in the pollen records of broadleaved trees (Quercus, Tilia, Fraxinus and Ulmus) at ca. 7,500 cal BP, with a maximum at ca. 3,500–2,500 cal BP. Four crucial time periods for the appearance and development of early agriculture were identified: the first cultivation signs (ca. 4,200 cal BP), an increase during the Iron Age (2,500–2,300 cal BP), an increase during the Slav colonization (ca. 1,000 cal BP) and further expansion after 400 cal BP. Corresponding changes in forest composition in the region were also observed. The climatic reconstruction revealed several features which are known all over northern Europe in the Holocene, for example the “event of 9,400 years BP”, “event of 8,200 years BP” and a sharp increase of temperature at 7,700 cal BP.