In this paper, we present high-resolution, contiguous plant macrofossil records taken from two glacial cirque mountain wetland ecosystems located in the subalpine zone of the Eastern Carpathians. We provide 1) a detailed reconstruction of plant succession from mountain peatland ecosystems; 2) a possible scenario of Holocene paleohydrological changes; 3) the presence of rare plants presently considered glacial relicts, e.g. Meesia triquetra; and 4) the peat forming potential of certain plants at altitudes above 1800 m a.s.l. At Gărgălău, a gradual decrease of water level and isolation from ground water influence approximately 7000 cal yr BP trigged the colonization of minerotrophic Sphagnum species (S. teres, S. centrale and S. subsecundum). The decline of Sphagnum subsecundum ca. 3000 cal yr BP was most likely caused by an increase of water level and competiton with Sarmentypnum sarmentosum populations. In the Late Holocene, ca. 2000 cal yr BP, Selaginella selaginoides expansion was recorded, followed by the reappearance of Sphagnum populations, most likely due to a lowering of the water table. The Gropile ecosystem transformed from a shallow lake into peatland at ca. 4200 cal yr BP. The temporary presence of Warnstorfia exannulata in peat sediments ca. 2300, 1600, 1300–1200, and 700–600 cal yr BP may indicate an increase of water level and very wet habitat, or the presence of small ponds. Paleohydrological changes only partly agree at both studied wetlands, suggesting the importance of local climatic and morphological conditions on past vegetation development. According to our paleoecological data, Straminergon stramineum indicates wet stages in peatlands and cannot be considered a high peat-forming species in subalpine zones in European mountain ranges. Projected warm and dry conditions may trigger mountain peatland water tables in Eastern Carpathians to decline, potentially resulting in the expansion of moss species that demand more acidic and drier habitats, e.g. Sphagnum russowii.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 123 • No. 1