Relations between assemblages of carpological remains and modern vegetation in a shallow reservoir in southern PolandReport as inadecuate

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Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 503–516

First Online: 27 June 2012Received: 07 June 2011Accepted: 15 June 2012


This paper explores relations between assemblages of carpological remains and vegetation in and around a small, shallow reservoir in southern Poland. The study was conducted from 2006 to 2008. Quantity and distribution of species in the reservoir were recorded annually during the growing season. In October 2008, 40 samples of surface sediment top 2 cm were collected along transects at 10 m intervals. Samples of 100 cm were prepared for analysis of plant macroremains. Assemblages of carpological remains generally reflect local vegetation well. In some cases, however, even analysis of numerous samples failed to fully capture the species composition or reflect plant ratios in the parent phytocenosis. Reasons for this include factors that affect seed production, transport and fossilization, which differ among species. Among the best-represented macroremains were plants of the rush phytocenosis. In analysed samples, macroremains of 68.8 % of extant rushes were identified. Sixty percent of submerged and floating-leaf taxa were found in carpological samples, whereas 26.7 % of the trees and bushes were represented in sediment deposits. Species composition of phytocenoses in the reservoir and in surrounding areas was best reflected by macroremains from the nearby reed bed. Numbers of diaspores of Mentha aquatica, Hippurisvulgaris and Carex reflected well their relative abundance in phytocenoses. Chara sp., Juncusinflexus and Eupatoriumcannabinum were overrepresented, whereas Typha latifolia and Sparganium minimum were poorly represented in relation to contemporary plant cover. There were no diaspores of Phragmites australis, which dominates the contemporary reed bed. Besides the shape of a reservoir, the key factor influencing diaspore numbers is distribution of plant cover. In many cases, single diaspores Potentilla erecta, Myosotis scorpioides, Lythrum salicaria, Scutellaria galericulata, or higher concentrations Hippurisvulgaris, Mentha aquatica, Eleocharis palustris, Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani, Chara sp. reflected well the location of parent vegetation. The findings indicate that carpological remains in sediments can be an important source of information about plants in and around lakes. They generally reflect well local vegetation and in some cases may be used to identify taxa that dominated in the past.

KeywordsAquatic vegetation Carpological remains Plant macrofossils Representation in surface sediments South Poland Taphonomy  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Artur Szymczyk


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