Insects and molluscs of the Late Pleistocene at the Gornovo site (Southern Ural foreland, Russia): New data on palaeoenvironment reconstructions

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  • Roman Yu Dudko
  • Guzel A. Danukalova
  • Anna A. Gurina
  • Alexander V. Ivanov
  • Yuri E. Mikhailov
  • Eugenija M. Osipova
  • Alexander S. Prosvirov
  • Solodovnikov, Alexey
  • Andrei A. Legalov
  • Evgenii V. Zinovyev

The paper presents new data on the subfossil insects and molluscs, as well a new radiocarbon date for the Gornovo site in the Southern Fore-Urals. As a result, the stratigraphic interpretation of the sediments of the lower part of the first above floodplain terrace of the Belaya River is corrected and they are assigned to the Tabulda Horizon (MIS 3) of the Upper Pleistocene in the regional scheme of the Fore-Urals Quaternary. The malacofauna of the locality is represented by 27 species of terrestrial and freshwater molluscs. The composition of molluscs in the deposits of MIS 3 indicates the succession of deposit accumulation in the river valley from the stage of reservoirs that periodically connecting with the river to the stage of the overgrown oxbow lake. Single occurrence of mollusc shells in the loams of MIS 2 is a result of sharp climate change. New insect material includes 136 species of Coleoptera from 17 families, as well as Heteroptera and Hymenoptera representatives. 29 species of beetles (Carabidae, Histeridae, Scarabaeidae, Elateridae, Tenebrionidae, Chrysomelidae, Brentidae and Curculionidae) are recorded for the Pleistocene for the first time. The insect assemblages from Gornovo site are assigned to periglacial and humid boreal faunal types. The entomofauna of the periglacial type has no analogues in the recent fauna; it corresponds to the deposits assigned to the middle of MIS 3. This entomofauna is characteristic to the MIS 2 and MIS 3 insect assemblages from the south of West Siberian Plain. Based on entomological data, the climate of the middle of MIS 3 of the Southern Fore-Urals is reconstructed as dry and cold, extracontinental, with mean July temperature not exceeding +15 °C. Steppe landscapes likely prevailed in open areas and coniferous forests were restricted to river valleys. Beetles from deposits dated to end of MIS 3 are assigned to the fauna of the boreal humid type. These insect assemblages are significantly poorer in diversity than periglacial type assemblages and are represented mainly by near water and forest Coleoptera. Based on these species, meadow and forest landscapes were reconstructed. The reconstructed mean air temperature of July ranged from +16 to +19 °C. This suggests a trend towards more mild conditions in the region connected to the climate warming at the end of MIS 3. It is likely that humidification during this period was regional, determined by the proximity of the site to the Southern Urals Mountains.

Original languageEnglish
JournalQuaternary International
Pages (from-to)154-177
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA

    Research areas

  • Insects, Late Pleistocene MIS 3, Molluscs, Mutual climatic range, Palaeoenvironment, Southern Ural foreland

ID: 287610716