Fossil invertebrates records in cave sediments and paleoenvironmental assessments – a study of four cave sites from Romanian Carpathians
- 1“Emil Racovitza” Institute of Speleology, Romanian Academy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
- 2“Emil Racovitza” Institute of Speleology, Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania
- 3University of Bucuresti, Faculty of Geology and Geophysics, Bucharest, Romania
- 4Institut für Geowissenschaften, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Jena, Germany
- 5Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic
- 6Institute for Environmental Studies, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
- *These authors contributed equally to this work.
Abstract. Fossil invertebrates from cave sediments have been recently described as a potential new proxy for paleoenvironment and used in cross-correlations with alternate proxy records from cave deposits. Here we present the results of a fossil invertebrates study in four caves from two climatically different regions of the Romanian Carpathians, to complement paleoenvironmental data previously reported. Oribatid mites and ostracods are the most common invertebrates in the studied cave sediments. Some of the identified taxa are new to science, and most of them are indicative for either warm and/or cold stages or dry and/or wetter oscillations. In two caves the fossil invertebrates records indicate rapid climate oscillations during times known for a relatively stable climate. By corroborating the fossil invertebrates' record with the information given by magnetic properties and sediment structures, complementary data on past vegetation, temperatures and hydraulic regimes could be gathered. This paper analyzes the potential of fossil invertebrate records as a paleoenvironmental proxy, potential problems and pitfalls.