A multi-proxy study of Holocene lake development, lake settlement and vegetation history in central Ireland


Selby, K.A., O'Brien, C. and Brown, A.G. (2005) A multi-proxy study of Holocene lake development, lake settlement and vegetation history in central Ireland. Journal of Quaternary Science, 20, (2), 147-168. (doi:10.1002/jqs.891).

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Description/Abstract

Stratigraphical investigations, geomorphological mapping, and diatom, plant macrofossil and pollen analyses were undertaken in and around two lakes in central Ireland to establish correlations between changes in lake conditions and catchment vegetation throughout the Holocene. Similar investigations of an adjacent mire reveal early Holocene changes in lake level and area. The palaeoecological data show high correlations related to variations in lake depth and area, catchment vegetation type, organic inputs and trophic status. Catchment-scale deforestation is gradual and occurs through the Bronze and the Iron Ages, and the construction of a crannog in the early Medieval period (seventh century AD) appears to be associated with a widespread increase in deforestation and mixed agriculture in the catchment. Both pollen and plant macrofossils suggest that one of the crannogs was used for crop storage in addition to domestic and any other activities. In the early to middle Holocene similarities in the proxy-data appear to be climatically driven through changing lake levels and areal extent whereas the later Holocene record is clearly dominated by anthropogenic changes within the catchment and the construction of crannogs in the lakes. The advantages of combining multi-proxy indicators of lake hydroecology with the vegetation record are illustrated.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: High resolution, multi-proxy data was used to allow a detailed reconstruction of a lake system in Ireland. The methodology developed has wide applications and international significance particularly for researchers on lacustrine systems. Fifth most accessed paper between January 2005 and August 2006.
ISSNs: 0267-8179 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: lake history, diatoms, plant macrofossils, pollen, environmental change
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Geography > Environmental Processes and Change
ePrint ID: 37731
Date Deposited: 26 May 2006
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:23
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/37731

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