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Daniel Conley

Daniel Conley


Daniel Conley

Human influence on the continental Si budget during the last 4300 years : δ30Sidiatom in varved lake sediments (Tiefer See, NE Germany)


  • Carla K.M. Nantke
  • Achim Brauer
  • Patrick J. Frings
  • Markus Czymzik
  • Thomas Hübener
  • Johanna Stadmark
  • Olaf Dellwig
  • Patricia Roeser
  • Daniel J. Conley

Summary, in English

The continental silicon (Si) cycle, including terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems (lakes, rivers, estuaries), acts as a filter and modulates the amount of Si transported to the oceans. In order to link the variation in the terrestrial Si cycle to aquatic ecosystems, knowledge on changes in vegetation cover, soil disturbance and the impact of human activity are required. This study on varved lake sediments from Tiefer See near Klocksin (TSK) in northeastern Germany investigates Si isotope variations in diatom frustules (δ30Sidiatom) over the last ∼4300 years. δ30Sidiatom values vary between 0.37 and 1.63‰. The isotopic signal measured in centric (mostly planktonic) and pennate (mostly benthic) diatoms shows the same trend through most of the record. A decrease in δ30Sidiatom coinciding with early deforestation between 3900 and 750 a BP in the catchment area, points to an enhanced export of isotopically light dissolved silica (DSi) from adjacent soils to the lake. The burial flux of biogenic silica (BSi) observed in the lake sediments increases with cultivation due to enhanced nutrient supply (N, P and Si) from the watershed and nutrient redistribution caused by wind-driven increased water circulation. When the cultivation intensifies, we observe a shift to higher δ30Sidiatom values that we interpret to reflect a diminished Si soil pool and the preferential removal of the lighter 28Si by crop harvesting. Human activity influences the DSi supply from the catchment and appears to be the primary driver controlling the Si budget in TSK. Our data shows how land use triggers variations in continental Si cycling on centennial timescales and provides important information on the underlying processes.


  • Quaternary Sciences

Publishing year





Quaternary Science Reviews



Document type

Journal article




  • Geology


  • Diatoms
  • Human impact
  • Lake sediments
  • Si isotopes
  • Soil Si




  • ISSN: 0277-3791