Effects of Boreal Timber Rafting on the Composition of Arctic Driftwood

Hellmann, Lena; Kirdyanov, Alexander; Büntgen, Ulf (2016). Effects of Boreal Timber Rafting on the Composition of Arctic Driftwood. Forests, 7(12), p. 257. MDPI 10.3390/f7110257

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Wood from the boreal forest represents an important resource for paper production and sawmill processing. Due to poor infrastructure and high transportation costs on land, timbers are often transported over long distances along large river systems. Industrial river rafting activities started at the end of the 19th century and were intensified in western Russia and central Siberia from the 1920s to the 1980s. After initial single stem rafting, timber is today mostly floated in ship-guided rafts. Lost wood can be transported further to the Arctic Ocean, where it may drift within sea ice over several years and thousands of kilometers before being deposited along (sub-)Arctic coastlines. Here, we introduce dendro-dated tree-ring width series of 383 driftwood samples from logged timber that were collected along different driftwood-recipient coastlines in Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard. The majority of driftwood is Pinus sylvestris from the southern Yenisei region in central Siberia, whereas Larix sp. and Picea sp. from western Russia and eastern Siberia are rare. Although our results are based on a small sample collection, they clearly show the importance of timber rafting on species, age and origin of Arctic driftwood and indicate the immense loss of material during wood industrial river floating.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Other Institutions > Teaching Staff, Faculty of Science

UniBE Contributor:

Büntgen, Ulf

Subjects:

500 Science
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology

ISSN:

1999-4907

Publisher:

MDPI

Language:

English

Submitter:

Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

14 Feb 2017 15:22

Last Modified:

08 Mar 2019 16:22

Publisher DOI:

10.3390/f7110257

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.92896

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/92896

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