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An assessment of changes in properties of steppe kurgan paleosoils in relation to prevailing climates over recent millennia

  • Tatiana E. Khomutova (a1), Tatiana S. Demkina (a1), Alexander V. Borisov (a1), Natalia N. Kashirskaya (a1), Maxim V. Yeltsov (a1) and Vitaly A. Demkin (a1)...

Comparative analysis of morphological and chemical properties of the soil chronosequence on Kastanozems soils in the steppe zone of the Russian Plain, which included paleosoils buried beneath kurgans erected ca. 2000 BC, AD 50, AD 200, and AD 1250 was performed to reconstruct the paleoenvironmental conditions in this archeologically important region. Paleoenvironmental dynamics were traced using the state of microbial communities of paleo and modern soils (including the dynamics of total and glucose-reactive biomass, and the abundance of microorganisms grown on selected media). We demonstrate that the share of the glucose-reactive microorganisms in the microbial community, the ecological–trophic structure, and oligotrophicity index might serve as indicators of the state of microbial communities and be used for paleoenvironmental reconstructions. The morphological–chemical and microbial properties confirm an arid period ca. 2000 BC, slightly wetter conditions ca. AD 50, and more humid conditions ca. AD 1250.

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*Corresponding author. Fax: +7 4967 330595. E-mail address: (T.E. Khomutova).
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Quaternary Research
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