Environment Evolution Commission of IGU

Publications of the Environment Evolution Commission

Special issue of the Journal “Quaternary International”

The Environment Evolution Commission organizes a special issue of “Quaternary Iternational” dedicated to the topics of Commission’s session in frameworks of The 33rd International Geographical Congress in Beijing

Title: Climate change and human-environment interaction from Neolithic to historical times

  • Dr. Elena Novenko,
    Department of Landscape Science, Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University,
    e-mail: lenanov@mail.ru, enovenko@geogr.msu.ru
  • Dr. Lyudmila Shumilovskikh,
    Department of Palynology and Climate Dynamics Albrecht-von-Haller-Institute for Plant Sciences, Georg-August-University Göttingen,
    e-mail: shumilovskikh@gmail.com
  • Dr., professor Pavel Tarasov,
    Institute of Geological Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany,
    e-mail: ptarasov@zedat.fu-berlin.de

The special issue is focused on the long-term studies of landscapes evolution, climate dynamics and human activity in different geographical regions during the Holocene. The Neolithic revolution in the early Holocene promoted the shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture and pasture economy and greatly changed the relationship between humans and their environments. Started in the Neolithic, a rapid increase of human population led to the rise and fall of ancient civilizations and foundation of modern cultures with continuous human activities affecting their surrounding environments. Having said that, the Holocene climate fluctuations determinated directions of human settlement space and therefore strongly influenced cultural evolution. The period of interest deals with an interaction of climate and humans, who changed the nature of biological systems and earth surface processes, and ultimately became a major driver of changes at regional and global scale. The aim of the special issue was to explore the trajectory of climate change and understand the pattern, mechanisms and evolution of man-environment relationships during the Holocene. The special issue includes papers concerning these problems from multi-disciplinary perspectives, to promote the advancement of research in the field. The special issue includes 13 papers. All of them are passed per-reviewed processes and available online.


  • Alexander Syrovatko, Andrei Panin, Alla Troshina, Nataliya Zaretskaya.Magnitude and chronology of extreme floods in the last 2 ka based on the stratigraphy of a riverine archeological site (Schurovo settlement, middle Oka River, Central European Russia) doi.org
  • Migle Stancikaite, Andra Simniskyte, Laura Gedminienė, Vaidotas Kazakauskas, Domas Uogintas.Reconstruction of the Mid- to Late- Holocene history of vegetation and land-use in Petrešiūnai, north-east Lithuania: implications from palaeobotanical and archaeological data doi.org
  • Elena Ponomarenko, Ekaterina Ershova, Pille Tomson, Varvara Bakumenko.A multi-proxy analysis of sandy soils in historical slash-and-burn sites: a case study from Southern Estonia doi.org
  • Georgina Ibarra-Arzave, Elizabeth Solleiro-Rebolledo, Sergey Sedov, Carmen Ortega-Rosas, Maria Guadalupe sanchez Miranda, Thanairi Gamez, Hermenegildo Barceinas- Cruz, Emmanuel Ayala.Environmental setting of the early irrigation in Oasisamerica: paleopedological evidences from the alluvial palaeosols in la Playa/Sonoran Desert. doi.org
  • Maxim Bobrovsky, Dmitry Kupriaynov, Larisa Khanina.Anthracological and morphological analysis of soils for the reconstruction of the forest ecosystem history (Meshchera Lowlands, Russia) doi.org
  • Elena Novenko, Andrey Tsyganov, Natalia Mazei, Dmitry Kupriyanov, Olga Rudenko, Maxim Bobrovsky, Natalia Erman, Vyacheslav Nizovtsev.Palaeoecological evidence for climatic and human impact on vegetation in the temperate deciduous forest zone of European Russia during the last 4200 years: A case study from “Kaluzhskiye Zaseki” Nature Reserve doi.org
  • Angelica Triana, Sergey Sedov, Salinas Acero, Carolina Moreano Ortiz, Diana Rocio Carvajal Contreras, Oscar Manuel Tovar Reyes, Elizabeth Solleiro-Rebolledo, Jaime Díaz Ortega, Carl Henrik Langabaek Rueda.Environmental reconstruction spanning the transition from hunter/gatherers to early farmers in Columbia: paleopedological and archaeological indicators from the pre-ceramic sites Tequendama and Aguazuque. doi.org
  • Qinghai Xu, Wei Ding, Tian Fu, Chunmei Ma, Pavel Tarasov.Heterogeneous vegetation sensitivity at local and regional scales: implications for pollen-based climate reconstruction doi.org
  • Natalia Ryabogina, Alexander Borisov, Idris Idrisov, Marat Bakushev.Holocene environmental history and populating of mountainous Dagestan (Eastern Caucasus, Russia) doi.org
  • Olga Borisova.Environmental and climatic conditions of human occupation in the central East European Plain during the Middle Holocene: reconstruction from palaeofloristic data doi.org
  • Pavel Tarasov, Larisa Savelieva, Tengwen Long, Christian Leipe.Postglacial vegetation and climate history and traces of early human-impact and agriculture in the present-day cool mixed forest zone of European Russia doi.org
  • Christian Leipe, Franziska Kobe, Stefanie Müller.Testing the performance of sodium polytungstate and lithium heteropolytungstate as non-toxic dense media for pollen extraction from lake and peat sediment samples doi.org
  • Nadezhda Razjigaeva, Larisa Ganzey, Marina Lyaschevskaya, Tatyana Makarova, Ekaterina Kudryavtseva, Tatyana Grebennikova, Alexander Panichev, Khikmatulla Arslanov, Fedor Maksimov, Alexey Petrov, Sergei Malkov.Climatic and human impacts on landscape development of the Murav'ev Amursky Peninsula (Russian South Far East) in the Middle/Late Holocene and historical time doi.org
    The special issue will include, but is not limited to
  1. Regional and global climatic, landform and environmental changes connected with human impacts;
  2. Neolithic and historical culture development influenced by environmental and climatic changes;
  3. Historical documentary sources and their application for climate and land use reconstructions.
If you have any questions about paper preparation and submission, please contact to Elena Novenko, lenanov@mail.ru


Special issue “Climate - vegetation interaction: natural processes vs human impact” rgo.ru

    Guest editors:
  • Dr. Sc. Elena Novenko (Moscow, Russia)
  • Dr., professor Pavel Tarasov (Berlin, Germany)
  • Dr. Sc. Alexander Olchev (Moscow, Russia)

The special issue “Climate - vegetation interaction: natural processes vs human impact” is proposed by the IGU Commission of Environment Evolution and aggregates the key scientific presentations in the commission session at the IGU Thematic Conference dedicated to the centennial of the Institute of Geography of Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russia, 4-6 June 2018). The special issue is addressed a wide range of scientific problems including the human–vegetation and vegetation-climate interactions in the past, present and future, natural and anthropogenic impacts on forest and grassland ecosystems, effects of forest disturbances on GHG fluxes and climate system, influence of natural processes on GHG fluxes in forest ecosystems, etc. These topics can be considered as a basis for fruitful collaboration of different research teams within the international scientific community investigating environment evolution and interaction of plant ecosystems and the atmosphere in different geographical regions.

Deadline for paper submissions: December 31st, 2018.

The Special Issue of Geographical review of Japan ser. B on “Environment Evolution and Human Activity in the Late Quaternary: Geographical Pattern”

The title: Environment Evolution and Human Activity in the late Quaternary: Geographical Pattern.

All papers of the special issue are available on web-site:

This special issue presents six papers on a wide range of subjects including human–environment interaction in the past, landscape evolution during the Pleistocene and Holocene, recent and future climatic changes, anthropogenic impacts on ecosystems, flood geomorphology, wetland development, and approaches for modelling land surface–atmosphere interactions. These topics are the basis of collaboration within the international scientific community investigating environment evolution and prognosis. This special issue is devoted to studies conducted in the Eurasian and Western Pacific region (Fig. 1).

Rudenko and Taldenkova carried out a high-resolution micropaleontological analysis of bottom sediments of Cheshskaya Bay in the southeastern Barents Sea and marine beds exposed in an abraded terrace along the eastern coast of the Kanin Peninsula to reconstruct Holocene vegetation and climatic changes. Pollen analyses revealed that (1) an arctic desert environment that was colder and drier than the present climate dominated during the early Preboreal period; (2) the gradual advance of shrubby birch and pine forest resulted from significant climatic amelioration since the Boreal period; (3) subsequent expansion of birch forests marked the Holocene regional climate optimum; and (4) re-establishment of dwarf birch and pine forest signaled the vegetation response to the cooling that has occurred since the end of the Atlantic period.
The advantages and usefulness of pollen analysis for the investigation of environmental change are also demonstrated by Novenko and Volkova, who reconstructed the middle and late Holocene vegetation and climatic history of the forest–steppe ecotone area in the Upper Don River basin in the southwestern Russia. Their analysis revealed that landscape dynamics in the region have been driven by changes in effective moisture and that reductions in annual precipitation by 50–100 mm were sufficient to increase the proportion of steppe communities within the complex landscape (during the time periods 7000–6000 and 2500–1700 cal yr BP). According to their analysis of pollen and plant macrofossil records, although signals of anthropogenic vegetation disturbance have been clear since the middle Atlantic period, human-induced changes in the vegetation remained subtle until the Medieval period.
The Chinese Loess Plateau has a semi-arid climate with monsoonal influence. This region is experiencing the most severe soil erosion in the world, induced by the destruction of natural vegetation for cultivation. Matsunaga’s study focused on human impacts across the Chinese Loess Plateau by assessing the current balance among afforestation, grain production, and water use in river basins on the plateau based on data collected from the statistical yearbooks of the Yan’an district. His findings suggest that the balance among these three land uses has been improved by the Grain-for-Green Policy in the river basins on the Chinese Loess Plateau. In contrast with semi-arid stable continents, humid, temperate, tectonically active regions like Japan are characterized by rugged mountains covered with dense forests; here, mass movement has played an important role in their landscape evolution. Sasaki and Sugai examined geomorphological controls on the distribution and development of wetlands in the Hachimantai Volcanic Group of northeastern Japan, with a focus on landslide activity. Their findings show that inside landslide areas wetlands are widely scattered, whereas outside these areas wetlands are unevenly distributed on original volcanic surfaces as small peat bogs in nivation hollows or crater ponds. They found that landslide activities have created wetlands of various ages and that the dissection of landslide bodies may accelerate wetland developmental stages, that is, the transition from ponds to peat bogs. The authors conclude that large-scale landslides have the potential to create biological and landscape diversity by forming coexisting wetlands of various ages and types.
Tropical monsoon river systems are strongly influenced by severe chemical weathering and extreme seasonal fluctuation of water discharge. To understand the dynamic changes of tropical river environments, Nagumo et al. focused on channel bars that appear during the dry season in the lower Stung Sen River, a major tributary of the Mekong River in Cambodia. By coupling geomorphic interpretation of aerial photographs and satellite images with field investigations, they identified the microtopography of the floodplain and riverbed and classified four types of channel bar: (1) lateral bars; (2) point bars; (3) concave-bank benches; and (4) diagonal and island bars. They suggest that the bar types vary according to channel sinuosity and changes in the volume of transported sediment, which is controlled by shifts of the flow regime of the Stung Sen River.
Finally, Olchev and Gravenhorst estimated the sensitivity of the carbon and water cycles of the mountainous tropical rain forest in Lore-Lindu National Park in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, to projected changes in climatic conditions at the end of the 21st century based on simulation results of a process-based CO2 and H2O exchange model. Their findings demonstrate a very high sensitivity of net ecosystem exchange and evapotranspiration to both the projected climatic changes and the possible reduction of nutrients in plants due to the impact of gradually elevated atmospheric CO2 and depletion of soil nutrient resources. They emphasize that a limited nutrient supply can significantly reduce gross primary production, net ecosystem exchange, and evapotranspiration in the future, but when the atmospheric CO2 increase is balanced with an adequate nutrient supply, the projected climatic changes will lead to increased gross primary production, soil wetness, groundwater level, and surface runoff in the study area.
Although these six studies were conducted in a particular region of the world, they present a diversity of landscapes ranging from arctic tundra to tropical rain forest. By conducting research across a broad array of geographical conditions, we can gain insight into environment evolution from a global perspective, thus helping us to achieve sustainable societies in the future.

Toshihiko SUGAI and Elena Yu. NOVENKO

  • O. Rudenko and E. Taldenkova. Holocene vegetation and climate history of the Cheshskaya Bay Region, SE Barents Sea, inferred from the first pollen archives. // Geographical review of Japan ser. B. 87(2), 2015.P. 82-90.
  • E. Novenko. The middle and late Holocene vegetation and climate history of the forest-steppe ecotone area in the central part of European Russia. // Geographical review of Japan ser. B. 87(2), 2015.P. 91-98.
  • K. Matsunaga. Balancing Afforestation with Grain Production and Water Use for Sustainable Effects of Soil Conservation in the Chinese Loess Plateau // Geographical review of Japan ser. B. 87(2), 2015. P. 99-102.
  • N. Sasaki and T. Sugai. Distribution and Development Processes of Wetlands on Landslides in the Hachimantai Volcanic Group, NE Japan. // Geographical review of Japan ser. B. 87(2), 2015.P. 103-114.
  • N. Nagumo, T. Sugai, S. Kubo. Flood Geomorphology and Characteristics of Modern Channel Bars in the Lower Stung Sen River, Cambodia. // Geographical review of Japan ser. B. 87(2), 2015.P.115-121.
  • A. Oltchev and G. Gravenhors. Effects of climate changes on net ecosystem exchange of CO2 and evapotranspiration of a tropical rain forest. // Geographical review of Japan ser. B. 87(2), 2015.P. 122-130.



Special issue of “Russian Journal of Ecosystem Ecology

The Environment Evolution Commission organizes a special issue of “Russian Journal of Ecosystem Ecology” dedicated to the topics of Commission’s session in frameworks of Moscow Regional Conference of IGU, 17-21 August, 2015. Information about journal see http://rjee.ru/ The proposed title: Landscape dynamics and human impact during the last millennium.

    The main topics of the special issue:
  • Landscapes evolution and human activity in different geographical regions during the last 1000 years (late Holocene).
  • LClimate - vegetation interaction under current and future climate change scenarios
  • LAbstract submissions – February 2016
  • Paper submission – June 2016

The special issue of the journal Quaternary International

Humans and Environment in Pleistocene and Holocene, Evolution of Waterways and early Settlement of Northern Europe. Edited by Andrei Velichko, and Pavel Dolukhanov
Quaternary International, Volume 203, Issues 1-2, Pages 1-128 (July 2009)

  1. A.A. Velichko, E.I. Kurenkova, P.M. Dolukhanov. Human socio-economic adaptation to environment in Late Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic Eastern Europe Pages 1-9
  2. K. Davison, P.M. Dolukhanov, G.R. Sarson, A. Shukurov, G.I. Zaitseva. Multiple sources of the European Neolithic: Mathematical modelling constrained by radiocarbon dates. Pages 10-18
  3. G.I. Zaitseva, V.A. Dergachev. Radiocarbon chronology of the Neolithic sites from the Boreal zone of European Russia and environmental changes based on the last proxy data. Pages 19-244.
  4. Kerkko Nordqvist, Oula Seitsonen, Mika Lavento. Waterways and the stone age and early metal period studies on the Karelian Isthmus – The pre-World War II studies and research carried out by the University of Helsinki in 1998–2006. Pages 25-32
  5. P.M. Dolukhanov, D.A. Subetto, Kh.A. Arslanov, N.N. Davydova, G.I. Zaitseva, E.N. Djinoridze, D.D. Kuznetsov, A.V. Ludikova, T.V. Sapelko, L.A. Savelieva. The Baltic Sea and Ladoga Lake transgressions and early human migrations in North-western Russia. Pages 33-51
  6. A.N. Mazurkevich, B.N. Korotkevich, P.M. Dolukhanov, A.M. Shukurov, Kh.A. Arslanov, L.A. Savel'eva, E.N. Dzinoridze, M.A. Kulkova, G.I. Zaitseva. Climate, subsistence and human movements in the Western Dvina – Lovat River Basins. Pages 52-66
  7. I.I. Eremeev, O.F. Dzyuba, O.V. Lisitsyna, O.V. Buben'ko, P.N. Podgursky. New evidence of initial agriculture in the Western Dvina basin. Pages 67-73
  8. Miglė Stančikaitė, Petras Šinkūnas, Jan Risberg, Vaida Šeirienė, Nerijus Blažauskas, Romas Jarockis, Sven Karlsson, Urve Miller. Human activity and the environment during the Late Iron Age and Middle Ages at the Impiltis archaeological site, NW Lithuania. Pages 74-90.
  9. V. Zernitskaya, N. Mikhailov. Evidence of early farming in the Holocene pollen spectra of Belarus Pages 91-104.
  10. Tatjana Boettger, Achim Hiller, Frank W. Junge, Dietrich Mania, Konstantin Kremenetski. Late Glacial/Early Holocene environmental changes in Thuringia, Germany: Stable isotope record and vegetation history. Pages 105-112.
  11. E. Yu. Novenko, M.P. Glasko, O.V. Burova. Landscape-and-climate dynamics and land use in Late Holocene forest-steppe ecotone of East European Plain (upper Don River Basin case study). Pages 113-119.
  12. Lyudmila G. Bezusko, Sergei L. Mosyakin, Alla G. Bezusko. Flora and vegetation of the Ovruch Ridge (Northern Ukraine) in the Early Middle Ages according to palynological evidence. Pages 120-128.

"Man and environment in boreal forest zone: past, present and future."
Proceedings of the International Conference, July 24 – 29, 2008, Central Forest State Natural Biosphere Reserve, Russia \ Eds.: E.Yu. Novenko, I.I. Spasskaya, A.V. Olchev; Institute of Geography RAS, A. N. Severtsov Institute for Ecology and Evolution RAS. – Moscow, 2008, 116 p.

"Environment development of East Asia in Pleistocene-Holocene".
Proceedings of International conference, 14-18 September, 2009. Vladivostok, Dalnauka-press, 256 p. ISBN 978-5-8044-1021-7

Special issue of the Open Geography Journal

"Man and environment in forest and steppe zones of Eurasia: past, present and future".
Editors: Alexander Olchev and Elena Novenko.
Open access Journal: here

  1. Elena Novenko, Alexander Olchev Editorial - Man and Environment in Forest and Steppe Zone of Eurasia: Past, Present and Future. Pp 43[DOI: 10.2174/1874923201003010043]
  2. E.Yu. Novenko and I.S. Zuganova Landscape Dynamics in the Eemian Interglacial and Early Weichselian Glacial Epoch on the South Valdai Hills (Russia). Pp 44-54[DOI: 10.2174/1874923201003010044]
  3. Maryna Komar, Lanczont Maria, Valde-Nowak Pawel, Balaga Krystyna, Holub Beata, Kusiak Jaroslaw, Mroczek Przemyslaw and Zielilski Pawel Palaeoenvironmental Background and Age of the Late Palaeolithic Settlement in SE Poland (A Case Study from the Sandomierz Upland and Carpathians) Pp 55-66[DOI: 10.2174/1874923201003010055]
  4. O. Desherevskaya, J. Kurbatova and A. Olchev Climatic Conditions of the South Part of Valday Hills, Russia, and Their Projected Changes During the 21st Century. Pp 73-79[DOI: 10.2174/1874923201003010073]
  5. O. Panferov, A. Sogachev and B. Ahrends Changes of Forest Stands Vulnerability to Future Wind Damage Resulting from Different Management Methods. Pp 80-90[DOI: 10.2174/1874923201003010080]
  6. B. Ahrends, C. Penne and O. Panferov Impact of Target Diameter Harvesting on Spatial and Temporal Pattern of Drought Risk in Forest Ecosystems Under Climate Change Conditions. Pp 91-102[DOI: 10.2174/1874923201003010091]
  7. K. Radler, A. Oltchev, O. Panferov, U. Klinck and G. Gravenhorst.Radiation and Temperature Responses to a Small Clear-Cut in a Spruce Forest. Pp 103-114[DOI: 10.2174/1874923201003010103]
  8. Bernd Ahrends and Carolin Penne. Modeling the Impact of Canopy Structure on the Spatial Variability of Net Forest Precipitation and Interception Loss in Scots Pine Stands. Pp 115-124[DOI: 10.2174/1874923201003010115]
  9. T.A. Sazonova and A.V. Olchev. The Response of Coniferous Trees to Industrial Pollution in North- Western Russia. Pp 125-130[DOI: 10.2174/1874923201003010125]

The special issue of the journal Quaternary International

"Environment development of East Asia in Late Pleistocene – Holocene.
Edited by Andrei Velichko, and Petr Baklanov.
Quaternary International, Volume 237, Issues 1-2, Pages 1-140 (15 May 2011)

  1. Razzhigaeva N.G., Ganzey L.A., Grebennikova T.A., Mokhova L.M., Belyanina N.I. Environmental changes and landscapes development of Central and Nothern Kuril Islands in Holocene. Pages 4-14
  2. Ganzey L.A. Razzhigaeva N.G., Grebennikova T.A., Kaistrenko V.M., Kharlamov A.A. Influence of natural catastrophes for development of Southern Kuril Island landscapes in Holocene. Pages 15-23
  3. Igarashi Ya. Dynamics in climate and vegetation during Pleistocene-Holocene transition in Sakhalin and Hokkaido, Northeastern Asia. Pages 24-31
  4. Pushkar V.S. Paleoclimatic changes of the Northeastern Asia and North Pacific during Late Pleistocene: high-resolution diatom data recorded in sediment. Pages 32-38
  5. Erbajeva M.A., Alexeeva N.V., Khenzykhenova F.I. Late Pleistocene and Holocene paleoenvironment of Baicalian region with emphasis on small mammals and geological peculiarities. Pages 39-44
  6. Velichko A.A., Timireva S.N., Kremenetski K.V., MacDonald G.M., Smith L.C. West Siberian Plain as a Late Glacial desert. Pages 45-53.
  7. Lozhkin A.V., Anderson P.M., Vazhenina L.N. Palynology, plant macrofossil, and radiocarbon dates from early Holocene peat from northeast Asia: implications for the timing of the Holocene climatic optimum. Pages 54-64
  8. Borisova O.K., Novenko E.Yu. Zelikson E.M. Kremenetski K.V. Lateglacial and Holocene vegetational and climatic changes in the southern taiga zone of West Siberia according to pollen records from Zhukovskoye peat mire. Pages 65-73.
  9. Bezrukova E.V., Belov A.V. Holocene vegetation and climate variability in North Baikal and Leno-Angarskoe Plateau areas, East Siberia, Russia. Pages 74-82.
  10. Bazarova V.B., Mokhova L.M., Klimin M.A. Correlation of climate and vegetation changes of the end of Late Pleistocene and Holocene in Amur River Basin. Pages 83-92
  11. Sato H., Izuho M., Morisaki K. Сorrelation between prehistoric human cultures and environmental change in Pleistocene-Holocene transition in Japan. Pages 93-102
  12. Kuzmin Ya.V., Rakov V.A. Environment and prehistoric humans on the Russian Far East and neighbouring East Asia: main patterns of interaction, Pages 103-108.

Environment Evolution Commission