, Volume 72, Issue 11, pp 1229–1239 | Cite as

Identifying white spots on the roadmap of Late Pleistocene and Holocene palaeolimnology in Slovakia: Review and future directions

  • Jaroslav Stoklasa
  • Daniela Dobríková
  • Lucia Sochuliaková
  • Radovan Pipík
  • Ladislav HamerlíkEmail author
Review Section Zoology


Paleolimnological research in the territory of Slovakia has relatively short history with the beginning in the 1990s primarily as a response to the ecological changes in mountain lakes due to air pollution and missing data from the pre-industrial period as well as a need to quantify anthropic impact on the landscape. In the present paper, we reviewed 53 publications, including research papers, monographs, conference abstracts and theses, dealing with aquatic proxies in Holocene lake sediments to identify (1) the location of surveyed sites, (2) proxies used, and (3) the object of the paleolimnological reconstructions. The vast majority (37) of the analysed paleolimnological localities (51) took place in the High Tatra Mountains, focusing on the alpine lakes of glacial origin. The most frequently used biological proxy was Chironomidae remains (44%). In contrast, Cladocera, Ostracoda, loss-on-ignition, molluscs and stable isotopes were used only in 10–12% of studies. Most studies (84%) focused on a simple ecological reconstruction of the past environment, and only 24% of the studies attempted to reconstruct specific ecological variables, properties and processes, such as acidification (10%), temperature (8%) and eutrophication (4%). Only 2% of the studies used molecular techniques. Sixteen out of the 51 cores analysed (i.e., 31%) were dated by radiometric methods. In the end of our review we pinpoint the weaknesses of the local paleolimnological research and sketch possible future directions.

Key words

paleoproxies Chironomidae Cladocera Diatoms paleoecology West Carpathians 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Appleby P.G. & Piliposian G.T. 2006. Radiometric dating of sediment records from mountain lakes in the Tatra Mountains. Biologia 61 (Suppl 18): S51–S64. DOI: Scholar
  2. Augustí-Panareda A. & Thompson R. 2002. Reconstructing air temperature at eleven remote alpine and arctic lakes in Europe from 1781 to 1997 AD. J. Paleolimnol. 28: 7–23. DOI: Scholar
  3. Battarbee R.W., Grytnes J.A., Thompson R., Appleby P.G., Catalan J., Korhola A., Birks H.J.B., Heegaard E. & Lami A. 2002a. Comparing palaeolimnological and instrumental evidence of climate change for remote mountain lakes over the last 200 years. J. Paleolimnol. 28: 161–179. DOI: Scholar
  4. Battarbee R.W., Thompson R., Catalan J., Grytnes J.A. & Birks H.J.B. 2002b. Climate variability and ecosystem dynamics of remote alpine and arctic lakes: the MOLAR project. J. Paleolimnol. 28: 1–6. DOI: Scholar
  5. Bitušík P. 1994. A preliminary report of response of sub-fossil chironomids (Diptera, Chironomidae) in the Lake Starolesnianske pleso (The High Tatra Mts., Slovakia) to acidification of lake water, pp. 29–33. In: Zborník referátov X. Limnol. konf., Stará Turá, 17–21 October 1994, Slovenská limnol. spoločnosť, Česká limnol. Spoločnosť, 265 pp.Google Scholar
  6. Bitušík P. 2002. Subfosílne spoločenstvá pakomárov (Diptera: Chironomidae) v sedimentoch horských jazier ako doklad histórie znečisťovania ovzdušia [Subfossil chironomid communities in mountain lakes as indicators of the history of air pollution]. Oecol. Mont. 11: 68–70.Google Scholar
  7. Bitušík P. & Kubovčík V. 1999a. Sub-fossil chironomids (Diptera: Chironomidae) from the sediments of the Nižné Terianske pleso (High Tatra Mts., Slovakia). Dipterol. Bohemoslov. 9: 11–20.Google Scholar
  8. Bitušík P. & Kubovčík V. 1999b. Pokus o rekonštrukciu zmien prostredia na základe subfosílnych zvyškov lariev pakomárov (Diptera: Chironomidae) zo sedimentov horských jazier [An attempt to reconstruct environmental changes from mountain lake sediments using subfossil chironomids], pp. 323–327. In: Atmosféra 21. storočia, organizmy a ekosystémy: Zborník referátov z medzinárodnej vedeckej konferencie Bioklimatologické pracovné dni 1999, TU Zvolen, 7–9 September 1999, Zvolen. ISBN: 80-228-0840-7Google Scholar
  9. Bitušík P., Kubovčík V., Štefková E., Appleby P.G. & Svitok M. 2009. Subfossil diatoms and chironomids along an altitudinal gradient in the High Tatra Mountain lakes: a multi-proxy record of past environmental trends. Hydrobiologia 631: 65–85. DOI: Scholar
  10. Blechová M. 2014. Paleoekologický výskum horských jezer v oblasti Karpat: revize současného stavu [Paleolimnological survey of mountain lakes in the Carpathians: review of the current status]. Bc. Thesis. Univerzita Karlova v Praze, 55 pp. Scholar
  11. Buczkó K., Magyari E.K., Bitušík P. & Wacnik A. 2009. Review of dated Late Quaternary paleolimnological records in the Carpathian Region, east-central Europe. Hydrobiologia 631: 3–28. DOI: Scholar
  12. Catalan J., Ventura M., Brancelj A., Granados I., Thies H., Nickus U., Korhola A., Lotter A.F., Barbieri A., Stuchlík E., Lien L., Bitušík P., Buchaca T., Camarero L., Goudsmit G. H., Kopáček J., Lemcke G., Livingstone D.M., Muller B., Rautio M., Šiško M., Sorvari S., Šporka F., Strunecký O. & Toro M. 2002. Seasonal ecosystem variability in remote mountain lakes: implications for detecting climatic signals in sediment records. J. Paleolimnol. 28: 25–46. DOI: Scholar
  13. Dobríková D., Hamerlík L., Szarlowic K., Kubica B., Šporka F. & Bitušík P. 2014. Dvestoročná história Popradského plesa: predbežné výsledky paleolimnologickej štúdie jeho sedimentov [The history of lake Popradské pleso over the last 200 years: preliminary results of the paleolimnological study of its sediments], pp. 79–84. In: Midriak R. & Zaušková Ľ. (eds), Biosférické rezervácie na Slovensku X., Zborník referátov z 10. národnej konferencie o biosférických rezerváciách SR, 21–22 October 2014, Stará Lesná, Belianum, Banská Bystrica, 197 pp. ISBN: 9788055708461Google Scholar
  14. Dobríková D., Sochuliaková L., Stoklasa J., Hamerlík L. & Bitušík P. 2016. Paleolimnologický výskum pre adaptívny manažment v ochrane prírody: prípadová štúdia Popradského plesa (Vysoké Tatry, Slovensko) [Paleolimnological survey for the adaptive management in conservation biology: a case study of Popradské pleso lake (High Tatra Mountains, Slovakia]. Quaest. Rer. Natur. 3: 24–41.Google Scholar
  15. Gálová A., Hájková P., Čierniková M., Petr L., Hájek M., Novák J., Rohovec J. & Jamrichová E. 2016. Origin of a boreal birch bog woodland and landscape development on a warm low mountain summit at the Carpathian-Pannonian interface. Holocene 26: 1112–1125. DOI: Scholar
  16. Gasiorowski M. & Sienkiewicz E. 2010. The Little Ice Age recorded in sediments of a small dystrophic mountain lake in southern Poland. J. Paleolimnol. 43: 475–487. DOI: Scholar
  17. Hájková P., Pařil P., Petr L., Chattová B., Grygář T. & Heiri O. 2016. A first chironomid-based summer temperature reconstruction (13–5 ka BP) around 49° N in inland Europe compared with local lake development. Quat. Sci. Rev. 141: 94–111. DOI: Scholar
  18. Hájková M., Petr L., Horsák M., Rohovec J. & Hájek M. 2015. Interstadial inland dune slacks in south-west Slovakia: a multiproxy vegetation and landscape reconstruction. Quat. Int. 357: 314–328. DOI: Scholar
  19. Hamerlík L., Dobríková D., Szarlowicz K., Reczynski W., Kubica B., Šporka F. & Bitušík P. 2016. Lake biota response to human impact and local climate during the last 200 years: A multi-proxy study of a subalpine lake (Tatra Mountains, W Carpathians). Sci. Total Environ. 545–546: 320–328. DOI: Scholar
  20. Hamrová E., Goliáš V. & Petrusek A. 2010. Identifying centuryold long-spined Daphnia: species replacement in a mountain lake characterised by paleogenetic methods. Hydrobiologia 643: 97–106. DOI: Scholar
  21. Hüttemann H. & Bortenschlanger S. 1987. Beiträge zur Vegetationsgeschichte Tirols VI: Riesengebirge, Hohe Tatra–Zillertal, Kühtai. Ber. Naturwiss.-Med. Verein Innsbruck 74: 81–112.Google Scholar
  22. Jamrichová E., Hájková P., Horsák M., Rybníčková E., Lacina A. & Hájek M. 2014. Landscape history, calcareous fen development and historical events in the Slovak Eastern Carpathians. Veget. Hist. Archaeobot. 23: 497–513. DOI: Scholar
  23. Kłapyta P., Zasadni J., Pociask-Karteczka J., Gajda A. & Franczak P. 2016. Late Glacial and Holocene paleoenvironmental records in the Tatra Mountains, East-Central Europe, based on lake, peat bog and colluvial sedimentary data: A summary review. Quat. Int. 415: 126–144 DOI: Scholar
  24. Kopáček J., Borovec J., Hejzlar J. Kotorová I., Stuchlík E. & Veselý J. 2006a. Chemical composition of modern and preacidification sediments in the Tatra Mountain lakes. Biologia 61 (Suppl 18): S65–S76. DOI: Scholar
  25. Kopáček J., Hardekopf D., Majer V., Pšenáková P., Stuchlík E. & Veselý J. 2004. Response of alpine lakes and soils to changes in acid deposition: the MAGIC model applied to the Tatra Mountain region, Slovakia-Poland. J. Limnol. 63: 143–156. DOI: Scholar
  26. Kopáček J., Stuchlík E. & Hardekopf D. 2006b. Chemical composition of the Tatra Mountain lakes: Recovery from acidification. Biologia 61 (Suppl. 18): S21–S33. DOI: Scholar
  27. Kopáček J., Veselý J. & Stuchlík E. 2001: Sulphur and nitrogen fluxes and budgets in the Bohemian Forest and Tatra Mountains during the Industrial Revolution (1850–2000). Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 5: 391–405. DOI: Scholar
  28. Kubovčík V. 2006. The environmental history of two non-acidified alpine lakes (the High Tatra Mts., Slovakia) for the last c. 200 years: a palaeoecological study. Acta Univ. Carol. Biol. 50: 73–84.Google Scholar
  29. Kubovčík V. 2012. Paleoekológia tatranských jazier: pakomárovité (Diptera: Chironomidae), klimatické zmeny a acidifikácia [Paleoecology of the Tatra lakes: Chironomids (Diptera: Chironomidae), climate changes and acidification]. Vydavateľstvo Technickej univerzity vo Zvolene, Zvolen, 96 pp. ISBN: 9788022823661Google Scholar
  30. Kubovčík V. 2013. Subfosílne spoločenstvá pakomárovitých (Diptera: Chironomidae) ako indikátory historických zmien prostredia [Subfossil chironomid communities (Diptera: Chironomidae) as indicators of historical environmental changes]. Vydavateľstvo Technickej univerzity vo Zvolene, Zvolen, 76 pp. ISBN: 9788022825801Google Scholar
  31. Kubovčík V. & Beták M. 2004. Ninety years of environmental changes in Lake Vyšné Temnosmrečinské pleso (the High Tatra Mts., Slovakia) inferred from chironomids records (Diptera, Chironomidae), pp. 85–92. In: Bitušík P. (ed.), Dipterologica Bohemoslovaca 12, Acta Facultatis Ecologiae (Zvolen) 12 (Suppl. 1).Google Scholar
  32. Kubovčík V., Beták M. & Fečkaninová G. 2003. Subfosilná fauna pakomárov (Diptera: Chironomidae) Ľadového plesa (Vysoké Tatry, Slovensko) [Subfossil chironomid communities (Diptera: Chironomidae) of Ľadove pleso lake (High Tatra Mts., Slovakia)], pp. 201–203. In: Bitušík P. & Novikmec M. (eds), Proc. 13th Conference of Slovak Limnol. Soc. & Czech Limnol. Soc., Banská Štiavnica, 23–27 June 2003, Acta Fac. Ecol. Zvolen 10 (Suppl. 1), 323 pp.Google Scholar
  33. Kubovčík V. & Bitušík P. 2006. Subfossil chironomids (Diptera, Chironomidae) in three Tatra Mountain lakes (Slovakia) on an acidification gradient. Biologia 61 (Suppl. 18): S213–S220. DOI: Scholar
  34. Kubovčík V. & Fečkaninová G. 2004. Subfossil chironomids (Diptera: Chironomidae) from the sediments of the Ľadové pleso lake (High Tatra Mts., Slovakia). Dipterol. Bohemoslov. 11, Folia Fac. Sci. nat. Univ. Masaryk. Brun. Biol. 109: 173–182.Google Scholar
  35. Kubovčík V., Némethová M. & Svitok M. 2007. 350-letnia historia Ochotkowatych (Diptera: Chironomidae) w alpejskim jeziorze Vyšné Wahlenbergovo pleso [350-years history of chironomids (Diptera: Chironomidae) in an alpine lake Vyšné Wahlenbergovo pleso]. Dipteron 23: 50–52.Google Scholar
  36. Marková S., Černý M., Rees D.J. & Stuchlík E. 2006. Are they still viable? Physical conditions and abundance of Daphnia pulicaria resting eggs in sediment cores from lakes in the Tatra Mountains. Biologia 61 (Suppl 18): S135–S146. DOI: Scholar
  37. Némethová M. 2008. Paleoekologická rekonštrukcia vývoja vybraných tatranských plies na základe analýzy zvyškov lariev pakomárov (Diptera: Chironomidae) [Paleoecological reconstruction of the development of selected Tatra Mts. lakes using subfossil chironomid remains]. MSc. Thesis, Technická univerzita vo Zvolene, Zvolen, 49 pp.Google Scholar
  38. Pařil P. & Břečková V. 2013. Paleoreconstruction of ecological changes in filled up lake using subfossil chironomids–preliminary results from the Vihorlat Mts, Slovakia. In: 12th Workshop on Subfossil Chironomidae, New Forest, UK, 10–13 June 2013.Google Scholar
  39. Pařil P. & Petr L. 2011. Subfossil chironomid head capsules of filled up shallow lake Jurský Šúr near Bratislava, Slovakia–preliminary results. 10th Workshop on Subfossil Chironomidae, Finse, Norway, 30 June–2 July 2011.Google Scholar
  40. Petr L. 2015. Paleolimnologické lokality Západních Karpat a jejich význam pro rekonstrukci životního prostředí pozdního glaciálu a holocénu [Paleolimnological localities in the Western Carpathians and their importance for the reconstruction of the Late Glacial and Holocene environment]. Zprávy Čes. Bot. Společ. 50: 247–265.Google Scholar
  41. Petr L., Žáčková P., Grygar T. M., Píšková A., Křížek M., & Treml V. 2013. Šúr, a former late-glacial and Holocene lake at the westernmost margin of the Carpathians. Preslia 85: 239–263.Google Scholar
  42. Pišút P., Břízová E., Čejka T. & Pipík R. 2010. Paleofloristic and paleofaunistic analysis of Dudváh River oxbow and implication for Late Holocene paleoenvironmental development of the Žitný ostrov Island (SW Slovakia). Geol. Carpath. 61: 513–533. DOI: Scholar
  43. Pišút P. & Čejka, T. 2002. Historical development of floodplain site using Mollusca and Cartographic evidence. Ekológia 21 4): 378–396.Google Scholar
  44. Pišút P. & Čejka T. 2005. Výsledky analýzy časti výplne zaniknutého ramena Dunaja na Žitnom ostrove (príspevok k historickému rozšíreniu niektorých mokraďových druhov) [Preliminary results of the analysis of a Danube paleomeander infill in Žitny ostrov Island–contribution to the knowledge on the historical distribution of some wetland species], pp. 278–286. In: Mˇekotová J. & Štˇerba O. (eds), Sborník konference Říční krajina 3. Univerzita Palackého, 5–6 October 2005, Olomouc, 396 pp. ISBN: 80-244-1162-8Google Scholar
  45. Pišút P., Kubalová S., Hajnalová M. & Slamková M. 2004. Study of the Danube River Palaeochannel, Slovakia (Preliminary results). Geomorph. Slov. 1: 12–21.Google Scholar
  46. Pišút P. & Procházka J. 2012. Výsledky analýzy rastlinných makrozvyškov z výplne paleomeandra Dunaja pri obci Vrakúň (Žitný ostrov) [Results of plant macrofossil analysis of the infill of a Danube paleomeander near Vrakúň village]. Bull. Slov. Bot. Spoloč. 1: 87–101.Google Scholar
  47. Poláková L. 2006. Rozsievky vybraných tatranských plies [Diatoms of selected Tatra Mts. Lakes]. MSc. Thesis, Komenského univerzita v Bratislave, Bratislava, 50 pp.Google Scholar
  48. Poláková L. & Štefková E. 2006. Rozsievky sedimentov vybraných tatranských plies [Diatoms of the sediments of selected Tatra Mts. Lakes], p. 63. In: Sacherová V. (ed.), Sborník příspˇevků 14. konference České Limnologické Společnosti a Slovenskej Limnologickej Spoločnosti, 26–30 June 2006, Nečtiny, 166 pp. ISBN: 80-239-7257-XGoogle Scholar
  49. Potůčková A. 2014. Rekonstrukce paleo-environmentálních pom ˇerů zaniklého jezera Šúr v pozdním glaciálu a holocénu pomocí analýzy makrozbytků [Reconstruction of environmental changes of the paleo-lake Šúr during the Late Glacial and Holocene using macrofossil analysis]. MSc. Thesis, Karlova univerzita v Prahe, Praha, 87 pp. Scholar
  50. Rybníčková E. & Rybníček K. 2006. Pollen and macroscopic analyses of sediments from two lakes in the High Tatra mountains, Slovakia. Veg. Hist. Archaeobot. 15: 345–356. DOI: Scholar
  51. Sacherová V., Kršková R., Stuchlík E., Hořická Z., Hudec I. & Fott J. 2006. Long-term change of the littoral Cladocera in the Tatra Mountain lakes through a major acidification event. Biologia 61 (Suppl 18): S109–S119. DOI: Scholar
  52. Stasiak J. 1984. Wiek i ewolucja Szczyrbskiego jeziora [The age and evolution of lake Štrbské pleso]. Prace i Studia Geograficzne 5: 71–80.Google Scholar
  53. Stuchlík E., Appleby P., Bitušík P., Curtis C., Fott J., Kopáček J. Pražáková M., Rose N., Strunecký O. & Wright R.F. 2001. Reconstruction of long-term changes in lake water chemistry, zooplankton and benthos of a small, acidified highmountain lake: magic modelling and palaeolimnological analysis. Water Air Soil Pollut.: Focus 2 (2): 127–138. DOI: Scholar
  54. Svitok M. Kubovčík V. Appleby P. G. Kopáček, J. & Bitušík, P. 2012. Fauna pakomárov horského jazera: kombinácia paleo-a neolimnologického prístupu pri hodnotení zotavovania z acidifikácie [Chironomids of a mountain lake: combination of paleo- and neolimnological approach to assess the recovery from acidification], p. 157. In: Čiamporová-Zaťovičová Z. (ed.), Zborník príspevkov z X.I. konferencie ČLS a SLS, 25–29 June 2012, Jasná, 235 pp. ISBN: 978-80-971056-0-0Google Scholar
  55. Šporka F., Štefková E., Bitušík P., Thomson A.R., Augusti-Panareda A., Appleby P.G., Grytnes J.A. Kamenik C., Krno I., Lami A., Rose N. & Shilland N.E. 2002. The paleolimnological analysis of sediments from high mountain lake Nižné Terianske pleso in the High Tatras (Slovakia). J. Paleolimnol. 28: 95–109. DOI: Scholar
  56. Štefková E. 2001. Rozsievky Nižného Terianskeho plesa a Starolesnianskeho plesa vo Vysokých Tatrách [Diatoms of lakes Terianske pleso and Starolesnianske pleso, High Tatra Mts]. PhD Thesis, Komenského univerzita v Bratislave, Bratislava, 117 pp.Google Scholar
  57. Štefková E. 2003. Rozsievky vybraných jazier Vysokých Tatier [Diatoms of selected lakes of the High Tatra Mts]. Acta Fac. Ecol. Zvolen 10: 77–79.Google Scholar
  58. Štefková E. 2009. Porovnanie spoločenstiev rozsievok tatranských plies v období pred industrializáciou a v súčasnosti [Comparison of diatom communities of the Tatra Mts. lakes in the pre-industrialisation period and nowadays], pp. 259–262. In: Kröpfelová L. & Šulcová J. (eds), Sborník příspˇevků 15. konference České limnologické společnosti a Slovenskej limnologickej spoločnosti, Třeboň, 22–26 June 2009, Třeboň, 305 pp. ISBN: 978-80-254-4698-0Google Scholar
  59. Štefková E. & Šporka F. 2001. Long-term ecological research of high mountain lakes in the High Tatras (Slovakia). Ekológia 20 (Suppl. 2): 101–106.Google Scholar
  60. Wacnik A. 1995. The vegetational history of local flora and evidences of human activities recorded in the pollen diagram from side Regetovka, NE Slovakia. Acta Palaeobot. 35: 253–274.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Slovak Academy of Sciences 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaroslav Stoklasa
    • 1
  • Daniela Dobríková
    • 1
  • Lucia Sochuliaková
    • 1
  • Radovan Pipík
    • 2
  • Ladislav Hamerlík
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Natural SciencesMatej Bel UniversityBanská BystricaSlovakia
  2. 2.Earth Science InstituteSlovak Academy of SciencesBanská BystricaSlovakia
  3. 3.Institute of Geological SciencesPolish Academy of SciencesWarszawaPoland

Personalised recommendations