Advanced search

Climatic moisture conditions in the north-west of the Mid-Russian Upland during the Holocene

Full Text:


This study aimed to reconstruct the climatic moisture conditions of the Mid- Russian Upland through the Holocene. Surface moisture conditions in the study region were inferred from published pollen records from the Klukva peatland, in the north-west of the Mid-Russian Upland. Three climatic indices were derived from previously- published reconstructions of mean annual temperature and precipitation: the Climate Moisture Index, the Aridity Index and the Budyko Dryness Index. A simple modeling approach to reconstruct annual potential evapotranspiration and net radiation was developed and used to estimate the indices for different periods of the Holocene. The moisture indices were compared with independent proxies of climate moisture such as peatland surface wetness, reconstructed from testate amoebae and regional fire activity, reconstructed from charcoal. Results show that the surface moisture conditions in the study region were characterized by large variability. Periods of mild temperature and moderately wet conditions were followed by dry periods, which resulted in significant changes in palaeoenvironments. The method developed for calculation of potential evapotranspiration and indices of surface moisture conditions could be a useful tool for climate reconstructions. Our results demonstrate the detailed and nuanced palaeoclimate data which can be derived from pollen data.

About the Authors

Elena Yu. Novenko
Lomonosov Moscow State University; Institute of Geography Russian Academy of Science
Russian Federation

Andrey N. Tsyganov
Institute of Geography Russian Academy of Science; Penza State University
Russian Federation
Moscow; Penza

Kirill V. Babeshko
Penza State University
Russian Federation

Richard J. Payne
Environment and Geography, University of York
United Kingdom
York YO105DD

Jinlin Li
Shenzhen MSU-BIT University
Shenzhen, Guangdong province

Yuri A. Mazei
Lomonosov Moscow State University; Penza State University
Russian Federation
Moscow; Penza

Alexander V. Olchev
Lomonosov Moscow State University; A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation


1. Allen J.R.M., Long A.J., Chris J. Ottle C.J., Pearson D.G. and Huntley B. (2007). Holocene climate variability in northernmost Europe. Quaternary Science Reviews, 26, pp. 1432– 1453.

2. Alley R.B. and Ágústsdóttir M.A. (2005). The 8k event: cause and consequences of a major Holocene. Quaternary Science Reviews 24, pp. 1123–1149.

3. Barber K., Zolitschka B., Tarasov P. and Lotter A.F. (2004). Atlantic to Urals—the Holocene climatic record of mid-latitude Europe. In: R.W. Battarbee et al. eds. Past Climate Variability through Europe and Africa. Dordrecht, Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 417-442.

4. Blaauw M. (2010). Methods and code for 'classical' age-modelling of radiocarbon sequences. Quaternary Geochronology, 5, pp. 512-518.

5. Bohn U., Neuhäusl R., Gollub G., Hettwer C., Neuhäuslová Z., Schlüter H. and Weber H. (2003). Map of the Natural Vegetation of Europe. Münster: Landwirtschaftsverlag.

6. Budyko M.I. (1958) The Heat Balance of the Earth's Surface, US Department of Commerce, Washington, D.D., 259 p.

7. Bunbury J., Sarah A., Finkelstein S. A. and Bollmann J. (2012). Holocene hydro-climatic change and effects on carbon accumulation inferred from a peat bog in the Attawapiskat River watershed, Hudson Bay Lowlands, Canada, Quaternary Research, 78, pp. 275–284.

8. Charman D.J. (2007). Summer water deficit variability controls on peatland water-table changes: implications for Holocene palaeoclimate reconstructions. The Holocene, 17 (2), pp. 217-227.

9. Clear J.L., Molinari C. and Bradshaw R.H.W. (2014). Holocene fire in Fennoscandia and Denmark. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 23 (6)., pp.781-789.

10. Davis B.A.S, Zanon M., Collins P., Mauri A. et al. (2014). The European modern pollen database (EMPD). Project. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 22 (6)., pp. 521-530.

11. Dyakonov K., Novenko E., Mironenko I., Kuprijanov D. and Bobrovsky M. (2017). The Role of Fires in the Holocene Landscape Dynamics of the Southeastern Part of Meshchera Lowlands. Doklady Earth Sciences, 477 (1), pp. 1336-1342.

12. Isarin R.F.B. and Bohncke S.J.P. (1999). Mean July Temperatures during the Younger Dryas in Northwestern and Central Europe as Inferred from Climate Indicator Plant Species. Quaternary Research, 51, pp. 158–173.

13. Fleitmann D., Mudelsee M., Burns S.J., Bradley R.S., Kramers J. and Matter A. Evidence for a widespread climatic anomaly at around 9.2 ka before present (2008). Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology [online] Volume 23 (1), Available at: [Accessed 2 Oct. 2018].

14. Gałka M., Tobolski K., Lamentowicz Ł., Ersek V., Jassey, V.E.J., van der Knaap W.O. and Lamentowicz M. (2017). Unveiling exceptional Baltic bog ecohydrology, autogenic succession and climate change during the last 2000 years in CE Europe using replicate cores, multi-proxy data and functional traits of testate amoebae. Quaternary Science Reviews, 156, pp. 90–106.

15. Giese E. (1969). Die Klimaklassifikation von Budyko und Grigor'ev. Erdkunde, XXIII(4): pp. 317-325.

16. Hansen M., Townshend J., De Fries R. and Carroll M. (2005). Estimation of tree cover using MODIS data at global, continental and regional/local scales. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 26(19), pp. 4359-4380.

17. Inisheva L.I., Kobak K.I. and Turchinovich I.E. (2013). The development process of waterlogging and rate of accumulation of carbon in wetland ecosystems Russia. Geography and Natural Resources, 3, pp. 60–68 (in Russian).

18. Kalnina L., Stivrins N., Kuske E., Ozola I., Pujate A., Zeimule S., Grudzinska I. and Ratniece V. (2015). Peat stratigraphy and changes in peat formation during the Holocene in Latvia. Quaternary International, 383, pp. 186–195.

19. Khotinski N.A. (1977). Holocene of the Northern Eurasia. Moscow: Nauka (in Russian).

20. Khotinski N.A. and Klimanov V.A. (1997). Alleröd, Younger Dryas and early Holocene Palaeo-Environmental Stratigraphy. Quaternary International, 41/42, pp. 67–70.

21. Klimanov V.A. and Sirin A.A. (1997). Dynamics of peat accumulation in peatbogs of the Northern Eurasia during the last 3000 years. Doklady Earth Science, 354 (5), pp. 683–686.

22. Krementski K.V., Borisova O.K., Zelikson E.M. (2000). The Late Glacial and Holocene history of vegetation in the Moscow region. Paleontological Journal, 34 (1), pp. 67–74.

23. Lamentowicz M., Cedro A., Gałka M., Miotk-Szpiganowicz G., Mitchell E.A.D., Pawlyta J. and Goslar T. (2008). Last millennium palaeoenvironmental changes from a Baltic bog (Poland), inferred from stable isotopes, pollen, plant macrofossils and testate amoeba. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 265, pp. 93-106.

24. McMahon T.A., Peel M.C., Lowe L., Srikanthan R., McVicar T.R. (2013). Estimating actual, potential, reference crop and pan evaporation using standard meteorological data: A pragmatic synthesis. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 17, pp. 1331–1363.

25. Mauri A., Davis B.A.S., Collins P.M. and Kaplan J.O. (2015). The climate of Europe during the Holocene: a gridded pollen-based reconstruction and its multi-proxy evaluation. Quaternary Science Reviews, 112, pp. 109-127.

26. Mooney S.D. and Tinner W. (2011). The analysis of charcoal in peat and organic sediments. Mires and Peat, 7, pp. 1-18.

27. Nakagawa T., Tarasov P., Kotoba N., Gotanda K. and Yasuda Y. (2002). Quantitative pollen-based climate reconstruction in Japan: application to surface and late Quaternary spectra. Quaternary Science Reviews, 21, pp. 2099–2113.

28. Novenko E.Y., Zyuganova I.S., Olchev A.V. (2014) Application of the paleoanalog method for prediction of vegetation dynamics under climate changes. Doklady Biological Sciences 457(1), pp. 228-232.

29. Novenko E., Tsyganov A., Volkova E., Babeshko K., Lavrentiev N., Payne R. and Mazei Yu. (2015). The Holocene palaeoenvironmental history of Central European Russia reconstructed from pollen, plant macrofossil and testate amoeba analyses of the Klukva peatland, Tula region. Quaternary Research, 83, pp. 459-468.

30. Novenko E., Tsyganov A., Payne R., Mazei N., Volkova E., Chernyshov V., Kupriyanov D., and Mazei Yu. (2018). Vegetation dynamics and fire history at the southern boundary of the forest vegetation zone in European Russia during the middle and late Holocene. Holocene, 28(2), pp. 308–322.

31. Novenko E., Tsyganov A., Volkova E., Kupriyanov D., Mironenko I., Babeshko K., Utkina A., Popov V. and Mazei, Yu. (2016). Mid-and Late Holocene vegetation dynamics and fire history in the boreal forest of European Russia: A case study from Meshchera Lowlands. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 459, pp. 570-584.

32. Novenko E.Yu., Eremeeva A.P. and Chepurnaya A.A. (2014). Reconstruction of Holocene vegetation, tree cover dynamics and human disturbances in central European Russia, using pollen and satellite data sets. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 23, pp. 109-119.

33. Novenko E.Yu, Tsyganov A.N., Mazei N.G., Kupriyanov D.A., Rudenko O.V., Bobrovsky M.V., Erman N.M. and Nizovtsev V.A. (2018). Palaeoecological evidence for climatic and human impacts on vegetation in the temperate deciduous forest zone of European Russia during the last 4200 years: A case study from the Kaluzhskiye Zaseki Nature Reserve. Quaternary International (in press). doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2018.06.028.

34. Novenko E.Yu. and Olchev A.V. (2015). Early Holocene vegetation and climate dynamics in the central part of the East European Plain (Russia). Quaternary International, 388, pp. 12-22.

35. Novenko E.Yu., Tsyganov A.N. and Olchev A.V. (2018). Palаeoecological data as a tool to predict possible future vegetation changes in the boreal forest zone of European Russia: a case study from the Central Forest Biosphere Reserve. IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 107 (2017). 012104.

36. Olchev A. and Novenko E. (2011). Estimation of potential and actual evapotranspiration of boreal forest ecosystems in the European part of Russia during the Holocene. Environmental Research Letters, 6, 045213.

37. Olchev A., Novenko E., Desherevskaya O., Krasnorutskaya K., Kurbatova J. (2009). Effects of climatic changes on carbon dioxide and water vapor fluxes in boreal forest ecosystems of European part of Russia. Environmental Research Letters 4 045007 (8pp).

38. Olchev A. and Novenko E. (2012) Evaporation of forest ecosystems in the Central part of European Russia during the Holocene. Mathematical Biology and Bioinformatics, 7(1), pp. 284-298.

39. Olchev A.V., Deshcherevskaya O.A., Kurbatova Y.A., Molchanov A.G., Novenko E.Y., Pridacha V.B., Sazonova T.A. (2013). CO2 and H2O exchange in the forest ecosystems of Southern Taiga under climate changes. Doklady Biological Sciences 450(1), pp. 173-176.

40. Payne R.J., Malysheva E., Tsyganov A., Pampura T., Novenko E., Volkova E., Babeshko K. and Mazei Y. (2016). A multi-proxy record of Holocene environmental change, peatland development and carbon accumulation from Staroselsky Moch peatland, Russia. The Holocene, 26(2), pp. 314-326.

41. Prentice I.C., Cramer W., Harrison S.P., Leemans R., Monserud R.A. and Solomon A.M. (1992). A global biome model based on plant physiology and dominance, soil properties and climate. Journal of Biogeography, 19, pp. 117–134.

42. Priestley C.H.B., Taylor R.J. (1972). On the assessment of surface heat flux and evaporation using large-scale parameters. Monthly Weather Review, 100(2), pp. 81-92.

43. Rind D. and Lebedeff S. (1984) Potential Climatic Impacts of Increasing Atmospheric CO2 with Emphasis on Water Availability and Hydrology in the United States'. Report, Strategic Studies Staff, Office of Policy Anal., Office of Policy, Plann. and Eval., Washington D.C., 96 pp.

44. Sidorchuk A.Yu., Panin A.V. and Borisova O.K. (2012). River runoff decrease in North-Eurasian Plains during the Holocene Optimum. Water Resources, 39, pp. 69-81.

45. Solomina O.N., Bradley R.S., Hodgson D.A. et al. (2015). Holocene glacier fluctuations. Quaternary Science Reviews, 111, pp. 9-34.

46. Stančikaite M., Šinkŭnas P., Šeiriene V., Kisieliene D. (2008). Patterns and chronology of the Lateglacial environmental development at Pamerkiai and Kašučiai, Lithuania. Quaternary Science Reviews, 27, pp. 127–147.

47. Tarasov P.E., Bezrukova E.V. and Krivonogov S.K. (2009). Late Glacial and Holocene changes in vegetation cover and climate in southern Siberia derived from a 15 kyr long pollen record from Lake Kotokel. Climate of the Past, 5, pp. 285–295.

48. Ter Braak C. (1995). Ordination. In: Jongman R., Ter Braak C., Van Tongeren O., eds. Data analysis in community and landscape ecology. Wageningen: Pudoc, pp 91-173.

49. Thomas E.R., Wolff E.W., Mulvaney, R. et al. (2007). The 8.2 ka event from Greenland ice cores. Quaternary Science Reviews, 26, pp. 70–81.

50. Tsyganov A.N., Babeshko K.V., Novenko E.Yu, Malysheva E.A., Payne R.J. and Mazei Y.A. (2017). Quantitative Reconstruction of Peatland Hydrological Regime with Fossil Testate Amoebae Communities. Russian Journal of Ecology, 48 (2), pp. 191-198.

51. Velichko A.A., Catto N., Drenova A.N. et al. (2002). Climate changes in East Europe and Siberia at the late glacial-Holocene transition. Quaternary International, 91, pp. 75–99.

52. Volkova E.M. (2011). Rare mires of the north-western Mid Russia Upland: vegetation and genesis. Botanical Journal, 96, pp. 55–70 (in Russian).

53. Wanner H., Beer J., Bütikofer J. et al. (2008). Mid-to Late Holocene climate change: an overview. Quaternary Science Reviews, 27, pp. 1791-1828.

54. Whitlock C. and Bartlein P.J. (2003). Holocene fire activity as a record of past environmental change. In: Gillespie A.R., Porter S.C., Atwater B.F., eds. The Quaternary period in the United States. Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 479-490.

55. Williams J.W. and Shuman B. (2008). Obtaining accurate and precise environmental reconstructions from the modern analog technique and North American surface pollen dataset. Quaternary Science Reviews, 27, pp. 669-687.

56. Willmott C.J. and Feddema J.J. (1992) A more rational climatic moisture index. Professional Geographer, 44, pp. 84-88.

57. UNEP (1992). World Atlas of Desertification. Edward Arnold, London.

58. Zagwijn W.H. (1994). Reconstruction of climate change during the Holocene in western and central Europe based on pollen records of indicator species. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 3, pp. 65-88.

For citation:

Novenko E.Yu., Tsyganov A.N., Babeshko K.V., Payne R.J., Li J., Mazei Yu.A., Olchev A.V. Climatic moisture conditions in the north-west of the Mid-Russian Upland during the Holocene. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2019;12(4):188-202.

Views: 363

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)