Combining charcoal sediment and molecular markers to infer a Holocene fire history in the Maya Lowlands of Petén, Guatemala

Schüpbach, Simon; Kirchgeorg, Torben; Colombaroli, Daniele; Beffa, Giorgia Zoe; Radaelli, Marta; Kehrwald, Natalie M.; Barbante, Carlo (2015). Combining charcoal sediment and molecular markers to infer a Holocene fire history in the Maya Lowlands of Petén, Guatemala. Quaternary Science Reviews, 115, pp. 123-131. Pergamon 10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.03.004

[img] Text
schuepbach15qsr.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (915kB) | Request a copy

Vegetation changes in the Maya Lowlands during the Holocene are a result of changing climate conditions, solely anthropogenic activities, or interactions of both factors. As a consequence, it is difficult to assess how tropical ecosystems will cope with projected changes in precipitation and land-use intensification over the next decades. We investigated the role offire during the Holocene by combining macroscopic charcoal and the molecular fire proxies levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan. Combining these two different fire proxies allows a more robust understanding of the complex history of fire re- gimes at different spatial scales during the Holocene. In order to infer changes in past biomass burning, we analysed a lake sediment core from Lake Peten Itza, Guatemala, and compared our results with millennial-scale vegetation and climate change available in the area. We detected three periods of high fire activity during the Holocene: 9500 e 6000 cal yr BP, 3700 cal yr BP and 2700 cal yr BP. We attribute the first maximum mostly to climate conditions and the last maximum to human activities. The rapid change between burned vegetation types at the 3700 cal yr BP fire maximum may result from human activity.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
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:

Schüpbach, Simon; Colombaroli, Daniele and Beffa, Giorgia Zoe

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)
500 Science > 530 Physics

ISSN:

0277-3791

Publisher:

Pergamon

Language:

English

Submitter:

Doris Rätz

Date Deposited:

01 May 2015 13:59

Last Modified:

14 Sep 2015 16:35

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.03.004

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.67763

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/67763

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback