Pim de Klerk Palynology

Palaeoecological research of mires
in the Vosges Mountains (NE France)

 

At present, around 150 pollen diagrams are available from the Vosges mountains in NE France. First analyses date from the 1930-ies by mainly Hatt (1937) and Oberdorfer (1937), whereas the study of Firbas et al. (1948) provides an unusual detailed dataset hardly reached in palynology during the1940-ies. Major research was carried out in the 1970-ies and 1980-ies by a research group from the Laboratory of Palaeobotany and Palynology of the Utrecht University, of which the studies of  Janssen & Janssen-Kettlitz (1972), Janssen et al. (1974, 1975), De Valk (1981), Janssen (1981), Kalis (1984), Bick (1985) and Edelman (1985) are the most important. Other valuable palynological studies from the Vosges were presented a.o. by Dresch et al. (1966), Darmois-Théobald et al. (1976), Woillard (1975), Schloss (1979) and Darmois-Théobald & Denèfle (1981). After the early 1980-ies, only few further palaeoecological research was carried out (e.g. De Beaulieu & Reille 1992; Sudhaus 2005).

The aim of almost all of these studies was the reconstruction of the vegetation history in general, none focussed on the most recent vegetation development. Of the ca. 150 pollen diagrams, only around 40 cover the last Millennium with more than 5 samples (temporal resolution 200 years), and only 2 with more than 20 samples (temporal resolution 50 years).

Palynologically investigated localities in the Vosges mountains

In April 2006, a research project was started at the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Karlsruhe in order to obtain high-resolutional palaeoecological records - including pollen, macrofossils and geochemistry - of the most recent time-frames of peatlands in the Vosges mountains.

 Tourbière Chaume Thiriet

Two closely-spaced cores from the Tourbière Chaume Thiriet provide detailed insight in vegetation development at low elevations, of mineral soils at high elevations, and locally in the mire during the last 2000 years, covering the complete peat sequences. Although the trends of regional pollen types in both cores are rather similar, there are also minor differences that might be attributed to variations in pollen deposition in windward and leeward positions around the coring site, or to different distances of the cores to vegetation types on mineral soils. Local pollen deposition varies greatly over short distances, which indicates a large variation in vegetation dynamics. These do not necessarily relate solely to differences in local plant growth, but may also be attributed to variations in pollen and spore production.

Although Picea was with certainty naturally present in the Vosges Mountains since many Millennia, it is at present not possible to conclude whether the taxon occurred naturally in the Tourbière Chaume Thiriet during many centuries, or first after plantations in the 19th century.

Research strategy of the palaeoecological studies in the Tourbière Chaume Thiriet

Tourbière de l’Étang Noir de Frankenthal

The second selected locality is the Tourbière de l'Étang Noir of Frankenthal (FRT) near Le Hohneck, a well-known cirque that has already been studied frequently in the past. Whereas the previous studies concentrated predominantly on the general vegetation history and mire development of the study area, the new researches focus on high-resolution research of the upper 100 cm of peat of three closely spaced cores, covering ca. the last 1000 years.

Palynologically analysed cores in the Frankenthal-cirque

This research is carried out in close cooperation with Adam Hölzer.

  

Publications:

De Klerk, P. (2014): Palynological research of the Vosges Mountains (NE France): a historical overview. Carolinea 72: 15-39.

De Klerk, P. & Hölzer, A. (2009-2010): Hochauflösende Pollendiagramme vom Tourbière Chaume Thiriet (Südvogesen, NO Frankreich) zeigen kleinräumige Muster im Pollenniederschlag während der letzten 2000 Jahre. Annales scientifiques de la réserve de biosphère transfrontalière Vosges du Nord-Pfälzerwald / Wissenschaftliches Jahrbuch des grenzübershreitenden Biosphärenreservates Pfälzerwald-Vosges du Nord 15: 288-304.

 

Other relevant literature: 

Bick, H. (1985): Die Moorvegetation der zentralen Hochvogesen. Dissertationes Botanicae 91: 1-288.

Darmois-Théobald, M. & Denèfle, M. (1981): Observations sur la végétation Holocène des Vosges Méridionales et de leur piémont Haut-Saônois (France). Annales Scientifiques de l'Université de Franche Comté-Besançon - Géologie 3, 4ème Serie: 3-12.

Darmois-Théobald, M., Denèfle, M. & Menillet, F. (1976): Tourbières de moyenne altitude de la Forêt de Haute-Meurthe (Vosges, France). Bulletin de l'Association Française pour l'Étude du Quaternaire 1976-2: 99-107.

De Beaulieu, J.-L. & Reille, M. (1992): The last climatic cycle at La Grande Pile (Vosges, France): a new pollen profile. Quaternary Science Reviews 11: 431-438.

De Valk, E.J. (1981): Late Holocene and present vegetation of the Kastelberg (Vosges, France). PhD-thesis, Utrecht University, 294 pp.

Dresch, J., Elhai, H. & Denèfle-Labiole, M.(1966): Analyse pollinique de quatre tourbières du Ballon d'Alsace (Vosges, France). Compte Rendu des Séances de la Société Biogéographie 376: 78-89.

Edelman, H.J. (1985): Late Glacial and Holocene vegetation development of La Goutte Loiselot (Vosges, France). PhD-thesis, Utrecht University, 197 pp.

Firbas, F., Grünig, G., Weischedel, I. & Worzel, G. (1948): Beiträge zur spät- und nacheiszeitlichen Vegetationsgeschichte der Vogesen. Bibliotheca Botanica 121: 1-76.

Hatt, J.-P. (1937): Contribution a l'analyse pollinique des tourbières du nord-est de la France. Bulletin du Service de la Carte Géologique d'Alsace et de Lorraine 4: 1-79.

Janssen, C.R. (1981): Contemporary pollen assemblages from the Vosges (France). Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 33: 183-313.

Janssen, C.R. & Janssen-Kettlitz, E.L. (1972): A post-Atlantic pollen sequence from the Tourbière du Tanet (Vosges, France). Pollen et Spores 14: 65-77.

Janssen, C.R., Kalis, A.J., Tamboer-Van den Heuvel, G. & De Valk, E.J. (1974): Palynological and paleoecological investigations in the Vosges (France): a research project. Geologie en Mijnbouw 53: 406-414.

Janssen, C.R., Cup-Uiterwijk, M.J.J., Edelman, H.J., Mekel-Te Riele, J. & Pals, J.P. (1975): Ecologic and paleoecologic studies in the Feigne d'Artimont (Vosges, France). Vegetatio 30: 165-178.

Kalis, A.J. (1984): Forèt de la Bresse (Vogezen), vegetatiekundige en pollenanalytische onderzoekingen naar de bosgeschiedenis van een Centraal-europees middelgebergte. PhD-thesis, Utrecht University, 349 pp. + appendices.

Oberdorfer, E. (1937): Zur spät- und nacheiszeitliche Vegetationsgeschichte des Oberelsasses und der Vogesen. Zeitschrift für Botanik 30: 513-572.

Schloss, S. (1979): Pollenanalytische und stratigraphische Untersuchungen im Sewensee: ein Beitrag zur spät- und postglazialen Vegetationsgeschichte der Südvogesen. Dissertationes Botanicae 52: 1-138.

Sudhaus, D. (2005): Paläoökologische Untersuchungen zur spätglazialen und holozänen Landschaftsgenese des Ostschwarzwaldes im Vergleich mit den Buntsandsteinvogesen. Freiburger Geographische Hefte 64: 1-153.

Woillard, G.M. (1975): Recherches palynologiques sur le Pleistocene dans l'est de la Belgique et dans les Vosges Lorraines. Acta Geographica Lovaniensia 14: 1-118 + appendices.

 

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