Environmental Change Reconstruction Laboratory

...all that happens today is the product of what happened yesterday.


New paper presenting our results from Lake Żabińskie has just been published online in Science of the Total Environment. Paul Zander and co-authors use a Holocene-long varved sediment record to answer the research questions about the variability of primary production and water column oxygen concentrations during the past 10,800 years, and the role of natural and anthropogenic forces in driving these changes. We used recently developed hyperspectral imaging (HSI) techniques to quantify sedimentary chloropigments-a and bacteriopheopigments-a at sub-annual resolution, in combination with micro XRF scanning data and HPLC pigment assemblage data. This study demonstrates a clear link between lake biogeochemical processes and forest cover in the catchment and shows the potential of HSI to produce extremely high-resolution records of past productivity and redox conditions from varved lake sediments. The research was done in a cooperation with colleagues from the University of Bern. Happy reading!

Zander P., Żarczyński M., Vogel H., Tylmann W., Wacnik A., Sanchini A., Grosjean M., 2020. A high-resolution record of Holocene primary productivity and water-column mixing from the varved sediments of Lake Żabińskie, Poland. Science of the Total Environment. DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143713. LINK


Gosia Kinder and co-workers have just published a paper presenting new cryptotephra findings of historical and modern Icelandic eruptions (e.g. Askja AD 1875, Hekla AD 1845, Eyjafjallajökull AD 2010) in annually laminated lacustrine sediment records from several sites within a SW–NE transect across northern Poland. These new findings extend the tephra dispersal map towards the south‐east and provide valuable isochrons for the synchronisation of palaeoclimate proxy data. Happy reading!

Kinder M., Wulf S., Appelt O., 2020. Detection of the historical Askja AD 1875 and modern Icelandic cryptotephras in varved lake sediments – results from a first systematic search in northern Poland. Journal of Quaternary Science. DOI 10.1002/jqs.3259. LINK


We are pleased to announce that Alicja Bonk from our lab has been awarded the PAGES Early-Career Award. PAGES recognized her expertize in paleolimnology, her cross-disciplinary work to improve knowledge of past global changes in East-Central Europe, and her ability to establish new collaborations. The ECA Committee also took into consideration her involvement in the development of the PAGES Early-Career Network (ECN) and continued work within the group.
The award will be presented at PAGES’ 6th Open Science Meeting (OSM) in Agadir, Morocco, in May 2022. Congratulations!


The Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange has just announced the results of the Stanisław Ulam program. The aim of the program is to increase the level of internationalization of Polish universities and scientific institutions through visits of foreign scientists. One of the winners is Dr. Guillermo de Mendoza Barbera, who received a 24-month scholarship and will join our team in January 2021.
Dr. Guillermo de Mendoza Barbera obtained his PhD in ecology from the University of Barcelona. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Toulouse, and at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a specialist in taxonomy and ecology of midges (Diptera: Chironomidae) and their applications in paleoenvironemental studies. At the ECR Lab, he will implement a project aiming at Holocene-long temperature reconstructions for northern Poland. Welcome, Guillermo!


On October 2-7th, we cored complete sequences of bottom sediments from Lake Gorzyńskie in northwestern Poland. Field work was done by a joint German-Polish team including: Bernd Zolitschka, Christian Ohlendorf, Rafael Stiens, Maurycy Żarczyński and Wojciech Tylmann. Thanks to the help of our colleagues from the University of Bremen we recovered more than 30 m of sediment cores from the bottom of this lake.


New paper presenting our results from Lake Łazduny has just been published in Journal of Quaternary Science. We show ~9700 cal a BP record of changes in lake productivity, oxygen conditions and mixing regime. A stepwise change from oligotrophic Early Holocene conditions to mesotrophic conditions in the Mid- and Late Holocene is documented with sedimentary pigments analyzed in varved sediments. This study was done in a cooperation with colleagues from the University of Bern. Happy reading!

Sanchini A., Szidat S., Tylmann W., Vogel H., Wacnik A., Grosjean M., 2020. A Holocene high-resolution record of aquatic productivity, seasonal anoxia and meromixis from varved sediments of Lake Łazduny, North-Eastern Poland: insight from a novel multi-proxy approach. Journal of Quaternary Science. DOI 10.1002/jqs.3242. LINK


Maurycy Żarczyński has just received the NCN grant for preliminary investigations of lakes in Georgia. He will be working on the project “Investigating the potential of lake sediments in Georgia for reconstructions of environmental changes during the Holocene”. The field expedition is planned for the next year in cooperation with our Georgian colleagues. Good luck!


Another year has passed. We celebrated the 4th anniversary of our lab in the garden with a barbecue. This time we listened to sounds from Africa.


New paper has been published in Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research presenting results of recent cryptotephra findings in northeast Poland. Gosia Kinder and co-authors report about traces of three largescale, late Holocene eruptions from European and Northern American volcanoes: the White River Ash eastern lobe(WRAe) eruption fromMount Churchill, Alaska (833–850 CE); a tentative finding of the Glen Garry eruption of the Askja volcano, Iceland (1966–2210 cal a BP); and an yet undefined eruption from Furnas volcano, Azores. Volcanic glass shards were found in the sediments of Lake Żabińskie using precise varve chronology and EPMA glass chemical data. All three cryptotephra findings represent their easternmost occurrences from the volcanic source and hence considerably extend existing tephra dispersal maps.

This study was done in the frame of the NCN project “Tracking cryptotephra: toward developing a tool for precise stratigraphic correlation of lacustrine records in northern Poland (TEPHRA)” led by Gosia Kinder in cooperation with Sabine Wulf from the University of Portsmouth. Happy reading!

Kinder M., Wulf S., Appelt O., Hardiman M., Żarczyński M., Tylmann W. 2020. Late-Holocene ultra-distal cryptotephra discoveries in varved sediments of Lake Żabińskie, NE Poland. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 402, 106988. DOI 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2020.106988. LINK


New paper has been published in Water (MDPI) about recent history of Lake Sekšu in Lavia. Between 1953 and 1965, the lake received replenishment water from another eutrophic lake through a pipe. A multi-proxy (pollen, Cladocera, diatoms, and Chironomidae) approach was applied alongside a quantitative reconstructions of total phosphorus and hypolimnetic dissolved oxygen to show the ecosystem change. The results demonstrated significant shift in the lake community’s structure, sediment composition, redox conditions due to increased eutrophication, water level fluctuations, and erosion. This study was done in a cooperation with colleagues from Latvia, Finland, Norway, and Poland. Happy reading!

Zawiska I., Dimante-Deimantovica I., Luoto T.P., Rzodkiewicz M., Saarni S., Stivrins N., Tylmann W., Lanka A., Robeznieks M., Jilbert T. 2020 . Long-Term Consequences of Water Pumping on the Ecosystem Functioning of Lake Sekšu, Latvia. Water, 12, 1459. DOI 10.3390/w12051459. LINK


The printed book of the Quaternary Special Issue “Annually Laminated Lake Sediments” has been published. This is a collection of papers presenting recent progress for different directions in varved sediment research. The diversity of papers includes different methods and applied techniques, as well as different lake settings and geographical locations.
The initiative for this Special Issue emerged from activities of the Past Global Changes (PAGES) Varve Working Group that was established to coordinate activities leading to methodological developments, setting quality standards for varve chronologies, data management and processing, as well as integration with other high-resolution environmental archives.

Tylmann W., Zolitschka B. (eds.) 2020 Annually Laminated Lake Sediments. MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. DOI 10.3390/books978-3-03928-787-1. LINK


New paper has been published in Toxins (MDPI) about the allelopathic activity of freshwater picocyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. on phytoplankton assemblages from three Masurian lakes (Żabińskie, Łazduny, Rzęśniki). The experimental results indicate that addition of exudates obtained from Synechococcus sp. affects the number of cells and biomass of the phytoplankton communities. In this study, Iwona Bubak and co-authors demonstrate that the allelopathic activity exhibited by the Synechococcus sp. is probably one of the major competitive strategies affecting some of the coexisting phytoplankton species in freshwater ecosystems. Happy reading!

Bubak I., Śliwińska-Wilczewska S., Głowacka P., Szczerba A., Możdżeń K. 2020 The Importance of Allelopathic Picocyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. on the Abundance, Biomass Formation, and Structure of Phytoplankton Assemblages in Three Freshwater Lakes. Toxins, 12, 259. DOI 10.3390/toxins12040259. LINK


Another paper about Lake Żabińskie has been published in Geochronology (EGU journal). In this publication, Paul Zander and co-authors compare the reliability and precision of radiocarbon dating using two different techniques (gas-source input and conventional AMS dating of graphitized samples). The simulated age–depth models suggest that the lower analytical precision associated with miniature samples can be compensated for by increased dating density. This is importnat conclusion that can be useful in planning sampling strategies for dating of lacustrine sediment cores. Happy reading!

Zander P.D., Szidat S., Kaufman D.S., Żarczyński M., Poraj-Górska A.I., Boltshauser-Kaltenrieder P., Grosjean M. 2020 Miniature radiocarbon measurements (< 150 μg C) from sediments of Lake Żabińskie, Poland: effect of precision and dating density on age–depth models. Geochronology, 2, 63-79. DOI 10.5194/gchron-2-63-2020 LINK


New paper about the impact of climate change on primary production and phytoplankton composition in the Spitsbergen fjords has just been published in Global and Planetary Change. In this publication, we investigated sediment cores from four locations along western Spitsbergen coast. Our data show that the impact of global warming on primary production and phytoplankton taxonomic composition is observed even in the most northern parts of Spitsbergen. Higher primary production is linked to more intense warm Atlantic Water inflow. Happy reading!

Krajewska M., Szymczak-Żyła M., Tylmann W., Kowalewska G. 2020 Climate change impact on primary production and phytoplankton taxonomy in Western Spitsbergen fjords based on pigments in sediments. Global and Planetary Change. DOI 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2020.103158. LINK


On Thursday December 12th, Dr. Iwona Bubak from the University of Gdańsk delivered a talk about phytoplankton monitoring in Lake Żabińskie. The topic was very close to the project “Tracking climate signals preserved in lake sediments from integrated process studies and ultra high-resolution analysis of annually laminated sediments” which has been implemented in our laboratory.