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Diatom-based reconstruction of trophic status changes recorded in varved sediments of Lake Żabińskie (northeastern Poland), AD 1888-2010

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We investigated diatom assemblages in surface sediments of 46 lakes in northern Poland and developed a diatom-based transfer function to infer epilimnetic total phosphorus (TP) concentrations. Multivariate ordination techniques (DCA, CCA) were used to identify major environmental gradients and to evaluate the effect of environmental parameters on the distribution of diatoms in the modern diatom dataset. The transfer function was developed using PLS, WA and WA-PLS models, and applied to a varved sediment core from Lake Żabińskie, AD 1888-2010. Annually-resolved quantitative reconstruction of TP concentrations shows that multidecadal changes in the TP level reflect the local settlement history, land-use changes and development of agriculture and tourism. The period of high trophic levels with maximum values of TP was documented until the late 1920s. In the 1930s-1970s period, TP generally decreased and eutraphentic flora was partly replaced by oligotraphentic and oligo-mesotraphentic diatom taxa. The reconstructed TP concentrations have started to increase from the 1970s. After the 1950s, strong short-term fluctuations of TP values were noted and explained by interactions between meteorological conditions, water column mixing and nutrient cycling in the lake.

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Chemistry, other, Geosciences, Life Sciences