Vegetation changes in a warmer world: using the past to manage the future

Schimbări ale vegetației într-o lume mai caldă: utilizarea trecutului pentru managementul sustenabil al viitorului

Project summary

Climate variability is projected to increase in next 50-100 years and this superimposed on human impact also becoming more intense. Predicting vegetation response to these changes is a great challenge to the scientists. The aim of this proposal is to assess rates of past vegetation response and the likely drivers of changes using a multidisciplinary approach.

This proposal is focusing on two critical regions of Romania to climate and land-use changes: the mountain area of the Rodna National Park with its large tracts of old-growth forests and the open woodlands /forest steppe/steppe highly degraded landscapes in the lowlands of SE Romania, one of the oldest area of human impacts on the environment and vegetation in Europe. Fundamentally, it involves a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach to overcome the knowledge limitation brought by single discipline, and develop local calibration sets to improve previously insufficiently quantified past vegetation and climate reconstructions. As such techniques include estimate of pollen productivity, fossil pollen record, plant macrofossils, charcoal, sedimentary geochemistry, testate amoeba, mineral magnetic records, Pb210, C14 dating in conjunction with pollen-based vegetation modeling and archaeological inventories.

This will enhanced our ecological and biogeographic understanding and thus improve the predictive capacity in assessing the potential sensitive elevations to future environmental change.

Project Number: PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-2445 Funded By: UEFISCDI.

Host Institution: Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca


  1. 1. Determine past changes in the forest composition, stability and diversity in the mountain area and of major vegetation types in lowlands of SE Romania
  2. 2. Obtain estimates of pollen productivities and fall speeds of major plant taxa from modern landscapes in lowlands of Romania, a key area in terms anthropogenic transformation of the landscape
  3. 3. Reconstruct past hydro-climate variability and climate impacts on the vegetation dynamic and slope stability.
  4. 4. Human-environmental interaction. Explore the magnitude of landscape alteration across cultural phases and land use changes.
  5. 5. The effect of fire on ecosystem dynamics and diversity