Peatland initiation and carbon accumulation in the Falkland Islands

Richard J. Payne (Corresponding Author), Fin Ring-Hrubesh, Graham Rush, Thomas J. Sloan, Chris D. Evans, Dmitri Mauquoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean contain extensive peatlands at the edge of their global climatic envelope, but the long-term carbon dynamics of these sites is poorly quantified. We present new data for ten sites, compile previously-published data and produce a new synthesis. Many peatlands in the Falkland Islands developed notably early, with a fifth of basal 14C dates pre-Holocene. Falkland Islands peats have high ash content, high carbon content and high bulk density compared to global norms. In many sites carbon accumulation rates are extremely low, which may partly relate to low average rainfall, or to carbon loss through burning and aeolian processes. However, in coastal Tussac peatlands carbon accumulation can be extremely rapid. Our re-analysis of published data from Beauchene Island, the southernmost of the Falkland Islands, yields an exceptional long-term apparent carbon accumulation rate of 139 g C m−2 yr−1, to our knowledge the highest recorded for any global peatland. This high accumulation might relate to the combination of a long growing-season and marine nutrient inputs. Given extensive coverage and carbon-dense peats the carbon stock of Falkland Islands peatlands is clearly considerable but robust quantification will require the development of a reliable peat map. Falkland Island peatlands challenge many standard assumptions and deserve more detailed study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-218
Number of pages6
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume212
Early online date28 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2019

Fingerprint

Falkland Islands
peatlands
peatland
carbon
quantification
accumulation rate
coverage
eolian process
Carbon
ash content
carbon sinks
Atlantic Ocean
peat
bulk density
data analysis
growing season
ash
rain
Holocene
synthesis

Keywords

  • South Atlantic
  • Carbon accumulation
  • Bog
  • Peat
  • Holocene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Global and Planetary Change

Cite this

Peatland initiation and carbon accumulation in the Falkland Islands. / Payne, Richard J. (Corresponding Author); Ring-Hrubesh, Fin; Rush, Graham; Sloan, Thomas J.; Evans, Chris D.; Mauquoy, Dmitri.

In: Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol. 212, 15.05.2019, p. 213-218.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Payne, Richard J. ; Ring-Hrubesh, Fin ; Rush, Graham ; Sloan, Thomas J. ; Evans, Chris D. ; Mauquoy, Dmitri. / Peatland initiation and carbon accumulation in the Falkland Islands. In: Quaternary Science Reviews. 2019 ; Vol. 212. pp. 213-218.
@article{7d8e1446c31247a0ba888fa212040283,
title = "Peatland initiation and carbon accumulation in the Falkland Islands",
abstract = "The Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean contain extensive peatlands at the edge of their global climatic envelope, but the long-term carbon dynamics of these sites is poorly quantified. We present new data for ten sites, compile previously-published data and produce a new synthesis. Many peatlands in the Falkland Islands developed notably early, with a fifth of basal 14C dates pre-Holocene. Falkland Islands peats have high ash content, high carbon content and high bulk density compared to global norms. In many sites carbon accumulation rates are extremely low, which may partly relate to low average rainfall, or to carbon loss through burning and aeolian processes. However, in coastal Tussac peatlands carbon accumulation can be extremely rapid. Our re-analysis of published data from Beauchene Island, the southernmost of the Falkland Islands, yields an exceptional long-term apparent carbon accumulation rate of 139 g C m−2 yr−1, to our knowledge the highest recorded for any global peatland. This high accumulation might relate to the combination of a long growing-season and marine nutrient inputs. Given extensive coverage and carbon-dense peats the carbon stock of Falkland Islands peatlands is clearly considerable but robust quantification will require the development of a reliable peat map. Falkland Island peatlands challenge many standard assumptions and deserve more detailed study.",
keywords = "South Atlantic, Carbon accumulation, Bog, Peat, Holocene",
author = "Payne, {Richard J.} and Fin Ring-Hrubesh and Graham Rush and Sloan, {Thomas J.} and Evans, {Chris D.} and Dmitri Mauquoy",
note = "This study was funded by the Quaternary Research Association, University of York and Russian Science Foundation (17-14-00017). Thanks to the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute for hosting us in the Falkland Islands, particularly to Sammy Hirtle and Zoe James for their help with logistics and to iLaria Marengo for discussion of Falklands peat. Field peat depth measurements by CE were partly supported by the UK Department of Business, Energy, Innovation and Skills. CE would also like to thank Shaun Russell for help and company during the first field campaign, and Ben Berntsen at Elephant Beach Farm for sharing his time and knowledge. Thanks to Frin Ross and David Large for valuable discussions about Falkland Islands peat. Thanks to all landowners for access permission.",
year = "2019",
month = "5",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.03.022",
language = "English",
volume = "212",
pages = "213--218",
journal = "Quaternary Science Reviews",
issn = "0277-3791",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Peatland initiation and carbon accumulation in the Falkland Islands

AU - Payne, Richard J.

AU - Ring-Hrubesh, Fin

AU - Rush, Graham

AU - Sloan, Thomas J.

AU - Evans, Chris D.

AU - Mauquoy, Dmitri

N1 - This study was funded by the Quaternary Research Association, University of York and Russian Science Foundation (17-14-00017). Thanks to the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute for hosting us in the Falkland Islands, particularly to Sammy Hirtle and Zoe James for their help with logistics and to iLaria Marengo for discussion of Falklands peat. Field peat depth measurements by CE were partly supported by the UK Department of Business, Energy, Innovation and Skills. CE would also like to thank Shaun Russell for help and company during the first field campaign, and Ben Berntsen at Elephant Beach Farm for sharing his time and knowledge. Thanks to Frin Ross and David Large for valuable discussions about Falkland Islands peat. Thanks to all landowners for access permission.

PY - 2019/5/15

Y1 - 2019/5/15

N2 - The Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean contain extensive peatlands at the edge of their global climatic envelope, but the long-term carbon dynamics of these sites is poorly quantified. We present new data for ten sites, compile previously-published data and produce a new synthesis. Many peatlands in the Falkland Islands developed notably early, with a fifth of basal 14C dates pre-Holocene. Falkland Islands peats have high ash content, high carbon content and high bulk density compared to global norms. In many sites carbon accumulation rates are extremely low, which may partly relate to low average rainfall, or to carbon loss through burning and aeolian processes. However, in coastal Tussac peatlands carbon accumulation can be extremely rapid. Our re-analysis of published data from Beauchene Island, the southernmost of the Falkland Islands, yields an exceptional long-term apparent carbon accumulation rate of 139 g C m−2 yr−1, to our knowledge the highest recorded for any global peatland. This high accumulation might relate to the combination of a long growing-season and marine nutrient inputs. Given extensive coverage and carbon-dense peats the carbon stock of Falkland Islands peatlands is clearly considerable but robust quantification will require the development of a reliable peat map. Falkland Island peatlands challenge many standard assumptions and deserve more detailed study.

AB - The Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean contain extensive peatlands at the edge of their global climatic envelope, but the long-term carbon dynamics of these sites is poorly quantified. We present new data for ten sites, compile previously-published data and produce a new synthesis. Many peatlands in the Falkland Islands developed notably early, with a fifth of basal 14C dates pre-Holocene. Falkland Islands peats have high ash content, high carbon content and high bulk density compared to global norms. In many sites carbon accumulation rates are extremely low, which may partly relate to low average rainfall, or to carbon loss through burning and aeolian processes. However, in coastal Tussac peatlands carbon accumulation can be extremely rapid. Our re-analysis of published data from Beauchene Island, the southernmost of the Falkland Islands, yields an exceptional long-term apparent carbon accumulation rate of 139 g C m−2 yr−1, to our knowledge the highest recorded for any global peatland. This high accumulation might relate to the combination of a long growing-season and marine nutrient inputs. Given extensive coverage and carbon-dense peats the carbon stock of Falkland Islands peatlands is clearly considerable but robust quantification will require the development of a reliable peat map. Falkland Island peatlands challenge many standard assumptions and deserve more detailed study.

KW - South Atlantic

KW - Carbon accumulation

KW - Bog

KW - Peat

KW - Holocene

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85063379788&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/peatland-initiation-carbon-accumulation-falkland-islands

U2 - 10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.03.022

DO - 10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.03.022

M3 - Article

VL - 212

SP - 213

EP - 218

JO - Quaternary Science Reviews

JF - Quaternary Science Reviews

SN - 0277-3791

ER -