History of the Kungur Forest-Steppe in the Holocene: Problems, Approaches and First Results

Author(s):  L.S. Shumilovskikh, PhD, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany, shumilovskikh@gmail.com

P.Yu. Sannikov, PhD, lecturer, Perm State University, Perm, Russia, sol1430@gmail.com

Issue:  Volume 42, № 4

Rubric:  Sciences of earth

Annotation:  The Kungur forest-steppe is located in the southeast Perm region between the rivers Iren’ and Sylva. Due to the co-existence of boreal, temperate and steppe species, this island is characterized by high plant diversity. Several driving factors for the origin of the Kungur forest-steppe were proposed by botanists and geographers: geology, climate of the past, or humans. However, just two low-resolution palynological studies were published in 1950th in order to understand its history. The project aims to understand the phenomenon of the Kungur forest-steppe in terms of its formation and dynamic within the hemiboreal zone of the pre-Urals. For this, peats and lacustrine sediments from Kungur forest-steppe will be studied in comparison to those from the typical hemiboreal forests. Preliminary results suggest a high potential of the archives, covering between 2000 and 8000 years and characterized by a good pollen preservation and concentration. The first palynological studies on the lacustrine core Viatkinskoe indicate presence of the open birch forests with pine and spruce and very young opening of the landscapes due to an increased anthropogenic pressure. GIS-based search of new potential archives suggests 17 potential peatlands, from which four are chosen as the first priority for coring.

Keywords:  vegetation history, palynology, palaeoecology, non-pollen palynomorphs, Holocene, pre-Urals, Kungur forest-steppe, fire, pasture, anthropogenic impact.

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