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Abstract

The fjords along the west coast of Sweden have attracted attention for a number of unfortunate reasons, including the development of enhanced primary production and the presence of oxygen deficiency in bottom waters with its consequential benthic mortality. These difficulties have impacted local fisheries, mariculture and leisure activities along the coast. In the early 1990s a research programme, using the fjord sediments as an archive, was initiated to understand the various environmental processes at play. Included were studies on the foraminifera to access bottom water environments, and dinoflagellate cyst analysis for the interpretation of surface water conditions. In addition the sedimentary history within several of the fjords was constructed using 210Pb dating and a constant rate of supply model together with heavy metal analysis. Several fjords were analysed for their dinoflagellate cyst record including Koljöfjord, Gullmarsfjord and Havstensfjord. This contribution adds to the published information with the inclusion of Sannäsfjord and Dynekilen. All the dinoflagellate cyst records are consistent with modern cyst floras of the area, and include Lingulodinium polyedrum, Protoceratium reticulatum, Spiniferites bentorii and Pentapharsodinium dalei. It is however apparent that the temporal cyst record from Gullmarsfjord differs from the other fjords and is reacting differently to environmental change. Ultra-high-resolution dinoflagellate cyst analysis has a particular impact on the interpretation of environmental change within the marine realm.

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