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2 Late-Glacial and Holocene history of the Western Carpathian calcareous fens

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Chapter Summary

In the Western Carpathians, open calcareous fens host species-rich communities with a high representation of specialists as well as relict and endangered species from different taxonomic groups. Knowledge about the Late-Glacial and Holocene history of calcareous fens in this area is very fragmentary, as opposed to bogs and poor fens which provide more suitable sediments with better conditions for macrofossil and pollen preservation. Generally, calcareous fens with sedge-moss vegetation could develop through two main processes. Firstly, they could develop from forest calcareous springs after tree cutting. Secondly, many calcareous fens have developed through the terrestrialisation process from aquatic vegetation or reed vegetation built by Phragmite or Typha. Analysis of recent mollusc assemblages from the Western Carpathian calcareous fens revealed a distinct geographical gradient in species composition between the outer and inner Carpathians. Only a low number of recent calcareous fens harbours old sequences of calcareous sediments in the Western Carpathians.

Keywords: calcareous fens; Holocene history; Western Carpathian



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