, 631:121 | Cite as

A multi-proxy Late-glacial palaeoenvironmental record from Lake Bled, Slovenia

  • Maja Andrič
  • Julieta Massaferro
  • Ueli Eicher
  • Brigitta Ammann
  • Markus Christian Leuenberger
  • Andrej Martinčič
  • Elena Marinova
  • Anton Brancelj


This study investigates the palaeoecological record (δ18O, δ13C, pollen, plant macrofossils, chironomids and cladocera) at Lake Bled (Slovenia) sedimentary core to better understand the response of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems to Late-glacial climatic fluctuations. The multi-proxy record suggests that in the Oldest Dryas, the landscape around Lake Bled was rather open, presumably because of the cold and dry climate, with a trend towards wetter conditions, as suggested by an increase in tree pollen as well as chironomid and cladocera faunas typical for well-oxygenated water. Climatic warming at the beginning of the Late-glacial Interstadial at ca. 14,800 cal yr BP is suggested by an increase in the δ18O value, the appearance of Betula and Larix pollen and macrofossils, and a warmth-adapted chironomid fauna. With further warming at ca. 13,800 cal yr BP, broad-leaved tree taxa (Quercus, Tilia, Ulmus), Artemisia, and Picea increase, whereas chironomid data (Cricotopus B) suggest lowering of lake levels. After 12,800 cal yr BP (and throughout the Younger Dryas), the climate was colder and drier, as indicated by lower δ18O values, decline of trees, increase of microscopic charcoal, xerophytes and littoral chironomids. A warmer climate, together with the spread of broad-leaved tree taxa and a deeper, more productive lake, mark the onset of the Late-glacial/Holocene transition. These results suggest that terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems at Lake Bled were very dynamic and sensitive to Late-glacial climatic fluctuations.


Late-glacial Lake Bled Chironomids Cladocera Plant macrofossils Stable isotopes Pollen 



This research was partly funded by the Slovenian Research Agency (project Z6-4074-0618-03). We would like to thank Timotej Knific for his support, Willy Tanner and Mike Tanner for coring Lake Bled, and Mateja Belak for preparing figures. We thank Steve Brooks from the Natural History Museum of London for lab facilities during Julieta Massaferro postdoc and for his help with the chironomid identifications. We are very grateful to Herb Wright for critical comment on the manuscript and checking the English language. Comments from two anonymous referees are gratefully acknowledged.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOC 33 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maja Andrič
    • 1
  • Julieta Massaferro
    • 2
  • Ueli Eicher
    • 3
  • Brigitta Ammann
    • 4
    • 5
  • Markus Christian Leuenberger
    • 3
    • 5
  • Andrej Martinčič
    • 6
  • Elena Marinova
    • 7
  • Anton Brancelj
    • 8
  1. 1.Institute of ArchaeologyScientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and ArtsLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Lab de Biodiversidad Darwin INIBIOMA/CONICETBarilocheArgentina
  3. 3.Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics InstituteUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  4. 4.Institute of Plant SciencesUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  5. 5.Oeschger Centre for Climate Change ResearchUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  6. 6.LjubljanaSlovenia
  7. 7.Center for Archaeological SciencesKatholike Universiteit LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  8. 8.National Institute of BiologyLjubljanaSlovenia

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