Late Holocene environmental change at Aqualate Mere Staffordshire, UK

  • P. M. Ledger

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science by Research


    Palaeoecologial reconstruction of the last 3000 years was undertaken on a core from Aqualate Mere, Staffordshire, U.K. Diatom analysis was the main tool used for reconstruction and the data were analysed in conjunction with previously acquired pollen and environmental magnetics data. Core chronology is provided by 14C and SCP measurements, also taken from previous work by Pittam (2006).

    The findings of the investigation point to a mixture of direct climatic forcing, human mediated climatic forcing, and direct anthropogenic forcing on palaeoecology. Evidence for the impact of Bond Event 2 ca. 850 B.C., firstly mediated through human populations, and secondly, more directly on the mere, is suggested. Investigation of past eutrophic history of the mere suggests a strongly meso-eutrophic system through the time period represented by this core. An intensely eutrophic system is identified between ca. 400±145 B.C. and 50±105 A.D. This is attributed to natural conditions, perhaps exacerbated, but not directly linked to human activity. Evidence of high human impact appears through the Roman Period with indications of a major palaeoecological perturbation dated to between ca. 415±75 and 530±70 A.D. This is linked to deforestation and catchment erosion. Indications are that this episode led to a major shift in palaeoecology and the establishment of a clear, shallow, macrophyte dominated system.
    Date of Award2010
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SponsorsThe Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust
    SupervisorJason Jordan (Supervisor) & Ian Foster (Supervisor)


    • paleoecology
    • late holocene
    • Aqualate Mere Staffordshire, UK
    • lake ecosystems
    • lakes
    • environmental change
    • palaeolimnology

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