The role of peat decomposition in patterned mires: a case study from the central Swiss Alps

Ammann, Brigitta; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline F. N.; van der Knaap, Willem Oscar; Colombaroli, Daniele; Tinner, Willy; Wright, Herbert E.; Stefanova, Vania (2013). The role of peat decomposition in patterned mires: a case study from the central Swiss Alps. Preslia, 85(3), pp. 317-332. Praha: Czech Botanical Society

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A number of hydrological, botanical, macro- and micro-climatological processes are involved in the formation of patterned peatlands. La Grande Tsa at 2336 m a.s.l. is probably the highest bog in the central Swiss Alps and is unique in its pattern. In two of five pools there is in the contact zone between the basal peat and the overlying gyttja an unconformity in the depth-age models based on radiocarbon dates. Palynostratigraphies of cores from a ridge and a pool confirm the occurrence of an unconformity in the contact zone. We conclude that deepening of the pools results from decomposition of peat. The fact that the dated unconformities in the two pools and the unconformity in the ridge-core all fall within the Bronze Age suggest they were caused by events external to the bog. We hypothesize that early transhumance resulted in anthropogenic lowering of the timberline, which resulted in a reduction in the leaf-area index and evapotranspiration, and in higher water levels and thus pool formation.

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:

Ammann, Brigitta; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline; van der Knaap, Willem Oscar; Colombaroli, Daniele and Tinner, Willy

Subjects:

500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0032-7786

Publisher:

Czech Botanical Society

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

16 Oct 2013 09:40

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2014 02:45

Related URLs:

Uncontrolled Keywords:

deepening of pools, mires, patterned peatlands, peat decomposition, pool formation

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.38708

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/38708

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