Fire activity and hydrological dynamics in the past 5700 years reconstructed from Sphagnum peatlands along the oceanic–continental climatic gradient in northern Poland

Marcisz, Katarzyna; Gałka, Mariusz; Pietrala, Patryk; Miotk-Szpiganowicz, Grazyna; Obremska, Milena; Tobolski, Kazimierz; Lamentowicz, Mariusz (2017). Fire activity and hydrological dynamics in the past 5700 years reconstructed from Sphagnum peatlands along the oceanic–continental climatic gradient in northern Poland. Quaternary science reviews, 177, pp. 145-157. Elsevier 10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.10.018

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Fire is a critical component of many ecosystems and, as predicted by various climate models, fire activity may increase significantly in the following years due to climate change. Therefore, knowledge about the past fire activity of various ecosystems is highly important for future nature conservation purposes. We present results of high-resolution investigation of fire activity and hydrological changes in northern Poland. We analyzed microscopic charcoal from three Sphagnum-dominated peatlands located on the south of Baltic, on the oceanic–continental (west–east) climatic gradient, and reconstructed the history of fire in the last 5700 years. We hypothesize that air circulation patterns are highly important for local fire activity, and that fire activity is more intensive in peatlands influenced by continental air masses. We have found out that forest fires have been occurring regularly since the past millennia and were linked to climatic conditions. We show that fire activity (related to climate and fuel availability) was significantly higher in sites dominated by continental climate (northeastern Poland) than in the site located under oceanic conditions (northwestern Poland)—microscopic charcoal influx was 13.3 times higher in the eastern study site of the gradient, compared to the western study site. Recorded fire activity patterns were different between the sites in a long timescale. Moreover, most of the recorded charcoal peaks occurred during high water tables. Rising human pressure has caused droughts and water table instability, and substantial increase in fire activity in the last 400 years.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Marcisz, Katarzyna

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0277-3791

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

31 Jan 2018 17:18

Last Modified:

08 Mar 2018 16:27

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.10.018

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Fire history; Palaeohydrology; Microscopic charcoal; Testate amoebae; Baltic bog; Central Eastern Europe; Quaternary; Palaeogeography

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.108051

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/108051

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