Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Historical TOC concentration minima during peak sulfur deposition in two Swedish lakes

  • Petra Bragée
  • F. Mazier
  • Anne Birgitte Nielsen
  • P. Rosen
  • Daniel Fredh
  • Anna Broström
  • Wilhelm Granéli
  • Dan Hammarlund
Publishing year: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 307-322
Publication/Series: Biogeosciences
Volume: 12
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Copernicus Publications

Abstract english

Decadal-scale variations in total organic carbon (TOC) concentration in lake water since AD1200 in two small lakes in southern Sweden were reconstructed based on visible-near-infrared spectroscopy (VNIRS) of their recent sediment successions. In order to assess the impacts of local land-use changes, regional variations in sulfur, and nitrogen deposition and climate variations on the inferred changes in TOC concentration, the same sediment records were subjected to multi-proxy palaeolimnological analyses. Changes in lake-water pH were inferred from diatom analysis, whereas pollen-based land-use reconstructions (Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm) together with geochemical records provided information on catchment-scale environmental changes, and comparisons were made with available records of climate and population density. Our long-term reconstructions reveal that inferred lake-water TOC concentrations were generally high prior to AD1900, with additional variability coupled mainly to changes in forest cover and agricultural land-use intensity. The last century showed significant changes, and unusually low TOC concentrations were inferred at AD1930-1990, followed by a recent increase, largely consistent with monitoring data. Variations in sulfur emissions, with an increase in the early 1900s to a peak around AD1980 and a subsequent decrease, were identified as an important driver of these dynamics at both sites, while processes related to the introduction of modern forestry and recent increases in precipitation and temperature may have contributed, but the effects differed between the sites. The increase in lake-water TOC concentration from around AD1980 may therefore reflect a recovery process. Given that the effects of sulfur deposition now subside and that the recovery of lake-water TOC concentrations has reached pre-industrial levels, other forcing mechanisms related to land management and climate change may become the main drivers of TOC concentration changes in boreal lake waters in the future.


  • Ecology
  • Physical Geography
  • Geology


  • ISSN: 1726-4189
Anne Birgitte Nielsen
E-mail: anne_birgitte [dot] nielsen [at] geol [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Quaternary Sciences

+46 46 222 39 48


Sölvegatan 12, Lund


Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Lund University
Sölvegatan 12
S-223 62 Lund

Processing of personal data

Accessibility statement