Understanding of the ecosystems functioning is impossible without considering the interactions between climate changes and anthropogenic factors

Înțelegerea funcționării ecosistemelor este imposibilă fără a ține cont de interacțiunile dintre schimbările climatice și factorii antropici

Project summary

The ongoing climatic change is generating global concerns on the influence on natural ecosystems, agricultural productivity and consequently on the society. In climate impact research, knowledge of past local and regional climate variability is a priority area as the magnitude of climate change can be more variable at a smaller scale than at a global scale, and local climate conditions are directly relevant for natural vegetation and ecosystem services and societal needs. Current ecological developments acknowledge that most ecosystems are subject to continuing processes of changing climate and human impact and the understanding of the ecosystems functioning is impossible without consider climatic and anthropogenic factors.

In this project we will study several ombrogenous peat bog from Romanian Carpathians with a multiproxy approach: biological (testate amoeba, pollen, macroremains, stomata, NPP), physical (loss-on-ignition, particle size analysis, micro- and macrocharcoal), geochemical (XRF, ICP-MS elemental data and carbon isotopic composition δ13C), and dating (AMS 14C, 210Pb). We will explore patterns of change in vegetation composition and diversity along an elevational gradient to identify the elevations most sensitive to past climate changes, fire and human impact. We will reconstruct hydro-climatic changes based on testate amoebae analysis and carbon isotopic composition δ13C. We plan to obtain the first transfer functions for the Romanian Carpathians, and use them to obtain quantitative reconstruction of the water table depth.

We will explore i) the impact of Rapid Climate Change (i.e. 9.5; 8.2; 6.6, 4.2, 3.4 ka, Medieval Climate Anomaly, Little Ice Age, etc.) on vegetation and on prehistoric communities, ii) the effect of fire on ecosystem dynamics and diversity and iii) the human-environmental interaction by reconstructing the magnitude and consequences of human impact over time on vegetation cover and erosion rates.

Project Number: PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2016-0711 Funded By: UEFISCDI

Host Institution: Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca


Objectives

We will explore patterns of change in vegetation composition and diversity along an elevational gradient to identify the elevations most sensitive to past climate changes, fire and human impact. We will reconstruct hydro-climatic changes based on testate amoebae analysis and carbon isotopic composition δ13C. We plan to obtain the first transfer functions for the Romanian Carpathians, and use them to obtain quantitative reconstruction of the water table depth.