The last 7 millennia of vegetation and climate changes at Lago di Pergusa (central Sicily, Italy) 1Dipartimento di Biologia Ambientale, Università di Roma "La Sapienza", Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Roma, Italy
19 Aug 2013
2CNRS, UMR6249, Laboratoire Chrono-Environnement, 16 route de Gray, 25030 Besançon cedex, France
3CBAE, UMR5059, CNRS, Université Montpellier 2, Montpellier, France
4Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Pisa, Via S. Maria 53, 56126 Pisa, Italy
5EA 6293 GéHCO, Université de Tours, 37000 Tours, France
Received: 23 March 2013 – Published in Clim. Past Discuss.: 08 April 2013 Abstract. The aim of this study is to investigate climate changes and human activities
under the lens of palynology. Based on a new high-resolution pollen sequence
(PG2) from Lago di Pergusa (667 m a.s.l., central Sicily, Italy) covering
the last 6700 yr, we propose a reconstruction of climate and landscape
changes over the recent past in central Sicily. Compared to former studies
from Lago di Pergusa (Sadori and Narcisi, 2001), this work provides a
reconstruction of the evolution of vegetation and climate over the last
millennia in central Sicily, indeed completing previous results with new
pollen data, which is particularly detailed on the last 3000 yr.
Revised: 10 July 2013 – Accepted: 12 July 2013 – Published: 19 August 2013
Joint actions of increasing dryness, climate oscillations, and human impact
shaped the landscape of this privileged site. Lago di Pergusa, besides being
the main inland lake of Sicily, is very sensitive to climate change and its
territory was inhabited and exploited continuously since the Palaeolithic.
The lake sediments turned out to be a good observatory for natural phenomena
that occurred in the last thousands of years.
Results of the pollen-based study are integrated with changes in magnetic
susceptibility and a tephra layer characterization. The tephra layer was
shown to be related to the Sicanians' event, radiocarbon dated at 3055 ±
75 yr BP (Sadori and Narcisi, 2001).
We performed palaeoclimate reconstructions by MAT (Modern Analogues
Technique) and WAPLS (Weighted Average Partial Least Square). Palaeoclimate
reconstructions based on the core show important climate fluctuations
throughout the Holocene. Climate reconstruction points out four phases of
cooling and enhanced wetness in the last three millennia (2600–2000,
1650–1100, 850–550, 400–200 cal BP, corresponding to the periods between
650–50 BC, and 300–850, 1100–1400, 1550–1750 AD, respectively). This
appears to be the evidence of local responses to global climate oscillations
during the recent past.
Citation: Sadori, L., Ortu, E., Peyron, O., Zanchetta, G., Vannière, B., Desmet, M., and Magny, M.: The last 7 millennia of vegetation and climate changes at Lago di Pergusa (central Sicily, Italy), Clim. Past, 9, 1969-1984, doi:10.5194/cp-9-1969-2013, 2013.