Holocene carbon accumulation in the peatlands of northern Scotland

Joshua L. Ratcliffe*, R. J. Payne, T. J. Sloan, B. Smith, S. Waldron, D. Mauquoy, A. Newton, A. R. Anderson, A. Henderson, R. Andersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The response of peatland carbon accumulation to climate can be complex, with internal feedbacks and processes that can dampen or amplify responses to external forcing. Records of carbon accumulation from peat cores provide a record of carbon which persists as peat over long periods of time, demonstrating the long-term response of peatland carbon stocks to climatic events. Numerous records of long-term carbon accumulation exist globally. However, peatlands from oceanic climates, and particularly blanket bog, remain under-represented. Scottish bogs, which collectively have more than 475 separate palaeoecological records, may prove to be a valuable resource for studying the impact of environmental change on past rates of carbon accumulation. Here we present 12 records of carbon accumulation from the north of Scotland. We support these results with a further 43 records where potential carbon accumulation is inferred from published ages. These reveal a trend of high carbon accumulation in the early Holocene, declining in the mid-to-late Holocene. The trend is consistent with accumulation profiles from other northern peatlands and is likely to have been caused by climatic cooling. Considerable variability in carbon accumulation rates between locations is apparent for the mid-to-late Holocene. We attribute to hydrologically induced changes in carbon accumulation which are likely to be inconsistent between sites.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalMires and Peat
Volume23
Issue number03
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2018

Fingerprint

peatlands
peatland
Scotland
Holocene
carbon
bogs
peat
maritime climate
blanket bog
carbon sinks
bog
accumulation rate
environmental impact
environmental change
climate
cooling

Keywords

  • Blanket bog
  • Caithness
  • Climate
  • Flow country
  • Lorca
  • Peat
  • Sutherland
  • Tephrochronology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Soil Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Ratcliffe, J. L., Payne, R. J., Sloan, T. J., Smith, B., Waldron, S., Mauquoy, D., ... Andersen, R. (2018). Holocene carbon accumulation in the peatlands of northern Scotland. Mires and Peat, 23(03), 1-30. [3]. https://doi.org/10.19189/MaP.2018.OMB.347

Holocene carbon accumulation in the peatlands of northern Scotland. / Ratcliffe, Joshua L.; Payne, R. J.; Sloan, T. J.; Smith, B.; Waldron, S.; Mauquoy, D.; Newton, A.; Anderson, A. R.; Henderson, A.; Andersen, R.

In: Mires and Peat, Vol. 23, No. 03, 3, 25.10.2018, p. 1-30.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ratcliffe, JL, Payne, RJ, Sloan, TJ, Smith, B, Waldron, S, Mauquoy, D, Newton, A, Anderson, AR, Henderson, A & Andersen, R 2018, 'Holocene carbon accumulation in the peatlands of northern Scotland', Mires and Peat, vol. 23, no. 03, 3, pp. 1-30. https://doi.org/10.19189/MaP.2018.OMB.347
Ratcliffe JL, Payne RJ, Sloan TJ, Smith B, Waldron S, Mauquoy D et al. Holocene carbon accumulation in the peatlands of northern Scotland. Mires and Peat. 2018 Oct 25;23(03):1-30. 3. https://doi.org/10.19189/MaP.2018.OMB.347
Ratcliffe, Joshua L. ; Payne, R. J. ; Sloan, T. J. ; Smith, B. ; Waldron, S. ; Mauquoy, D. ; Newton, A. ; Anderson, A. R. ; Henderson, A. ; Andersen, R. / Holocene carbon accumulation in the peatlands of northern Scotland. In: Mires and Peat. 2018 ; Vol. 23, No. 03. pp. 1-30.
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