High-resolution lithostratigraphy, mineral magnetic, carbon, pollen, and macrofossil analyses, and accelerator mass spectrometry 14C measurements were performed in the study of a sediment sequence from Lake Tambichozero, southeastern Russian Karelia, to reconstruct late-glacial and early Holocene aquatic and terrestrial environmental changes. The lake formed ca. 14,000 cal yr B.P. and the area around the lake was subsequently colonized by arctic plants, forming patches of pioneer communities surrounded by areas of exposed soil. A minor rise in lake productivity and the immigration of Betula pubescens occurred ca. 11,500 cal yr B.P. The rise in summer temperatures probably led to increased melting of remnant ice and enhanced erosion. The distinct increase in lake productivity and the development of open Betula-Populus forests, which are reconstructed based on plant macrofossil remains, indicate stable soils from 10,600 cal yr B.P. onward. Pinus and Picea probably became established ca. 9900 cal yr B.P.