Framed into a robust stratigraphic context, multivariate analyses on the Holocene palaeobiological record (pollen, benthic foraminifers, ostracods) of the Po coastal plain (NE Italy) allowed the investigation of microtidal ecosystems variability and driving parameters along a 35-km-long land–sea transect. Millennial-scale ecosystem shifts are documented by coeval changes in the meiofauna, reflecting variations in organic matter–water depth (shallow-marine environments) and degree of confinement-salinity (back-barrier settings). In-phase shifts of vegetation communities track unsteady water-table levels and river dynamics in freshwater palustrine areas. Five environmental–ecological stages followed one another crossing four tipping points that mark changes in relative sea level (RSL), climate and/or fluvial regime. At the culmination of Mediterranean RSL rise, after the 8200 event, remarkable growth of peatlands took place in the Po estuary, while low accumulation rates typified the shelf. At the transgressive–regressive turnaround (~7000 cal a bp), the estuary turned into a delta plain with tidally influenced interdistributary embayments. River flow regime oscillations after the Climate Optimum (post-5000 cal a bp) favoured isolation of the bays and the development of brackish wetlands surrounded by wooded peatlands. The youngest threshold (~800 cal a bp), which led to the establishment of the modern delta, reflects a major avulsion of the Po River.

Millennial-scale shifts in microtidal ecosystems during the Holocene: dynamics and drivers of change from the Po Plain coastal record (NE Italy)

Rossi V.
Primo
;
Barbieri G.
Secondo
;
Vaiani S. C.;Cacciari M.;Bruno L.;Campo B.;Marchesini M.;Amorosi A.
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

Framed into a robust stratigraphic context, multivariate analyses on the Holocene palaeobiological record (pollen, benthic foraminifers, ostracods) of the Po coastal plain (NE Italy) allowed the investigation of microtidal ecosystems variability and driving parameters along a 35-km-long land–sea transect. Millennial-scale ecosystem shifts are documented by coeval changes in the meiofauna, reflecting variations in organic matter–water depth (shallow-marine environments) and degree of confinement-salinity (back-barrier settings). In-phase shifts of vegetation communities track unsteady water-table levels and river dynamics in freshwater palustrine areas. Five environmental–ecological stages followed one another crossing four tipping points that mark changes in relative sea level (RSL), climate and/or fluvial regime. At the culmination of Mediterranean RSL rise, after the 8200 event, remarkable growth of peatlands took place in the Po estuary, while low accumulation rates typified the shelf. At the transgressive–regressive turnaround (~7000 cal a bp), the estuary turned into a delta plain with tidally influenced interdistributary embayments. River flow regime oscillations after the Climate Optimum (post-5000 cal a bp) favoured isolation of the bays and the development of brackish wetlands surrounded by wooded peatlands. The youngest threshold (~800 cal a bp), which led to the establishment of the modern delta, reflects a major avulsion of the Po River.
Rossi V.; Barbieri G.; Vaiani S.C.; Cacciari M.; Bruno L.; Campo B.; Marchesini M.; Marvelli S.; Amorosi A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/835808
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