Palaeoenvironmental information from the palynology of an 800 year old bat guano deposit from Măgurici Cave, NW Transylvania (Romania)


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Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology

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Pollen analysis of a 270 cm deep guano deposit from Măgurici Cave (NW Romania) was performed to understand the vegetation dynamics and the influence of deforestation and farming activities that unfolded in the Transylvania area over the past 800 years. The study discusses the value of cave guano as a source of palaeoclimate data and tests if guano sequences record the same signals as other proxies (tree rings, speleothems, lakes or peat). The pollen record extracted from Măgurici Cave guano is consistent with the known vegetation history during the Late Subatlantic period, exhibiting two climate events: the Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age. Human influence on vegetation is also revealed, especially in modern times, by the decrease of arboreal pollen, the increase of herbaceous taxa related to grazing and the occurrences of cereals. Cave bat guano is emphasized as a source of valuable palaeoclimate data, especially in areas where no conventional archives are available.

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