Subfossil Chironomidae and other palaeoecological proxies in the reconstruction of the Late Vistulian environmental history in central Poland: case study of oxbow fill in Lucia River valley


  • Antczak-Orlewska, O. 1, 2
  • Plociennik, M. 2
  • Okupny, D. 3
  • Pawlowski, D. 4
  • Stachowicz-Rybka, R. 5
  • Szmanda, J. 6
  • Wacnik, A. 5
  • Krapiec, M. 7
  • Kotrys, B. 8
  • Luoto, T. P. 9
  • Smith, D. 10
  • Kittel, P. 11
  • 1 University of Gdansk, Laboratory of Palaeoecology and Archaeobotany, Department of Plant Ecology, Faculty of Biology, Gdansk, Poland
    2 University of Lodz, Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Hydrobiology, Lodz, Poland
    3 University of Szczecin, Institute of Marine and Environmental Sciences, Szczecin, Poland
    4 University of Adam Mickiewicz, Institute of Geology, Poznan, Poland
    5 W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakow, Poland
    6 Institute of Geography, Pedagogical University of Krakow, Krakow, Poland
    7 Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection, AGH - University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland
    8 Polish Geological Institute-National Research Institute, Szczecin, Poland
    9 Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
    10 Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
    11 University of Lodz, Faculty of Geographical Sciences, Department of Geomorphology and Palaeogeography, Lodz, Poland



climate, Late Glacial, palaeoecology, palaeolimnology, multi-proxy study


The fast sedimentation rate of Rozprza palaeo-oxbow deposits gives a chance for tracking environmental changes in the end of the Late Vistulian very thoroughly. The range of palaeoecological analyses were done, resulting in reconstructions of vegetation history, climate and habitat changes. The chironomid-inferred summer temperatures indicate the short cooling in the late Allerd, confirmed by the plant macrofossils. It may correspond to Gerzensee oscillation, recorded mainly from western Europe. The studied oxbow was a truly aquatic ecosystem until the end of Younger Dryas, with diverse invertebrate fauna. The second phase of the oxbow-lake was characterised by its systematic overgrowing and, finally, mire development with overbank deposition in the Holocene. The wide range of used proxies provided a reliable picture of the Late Glacial oxbow evolution in Central Poland.