Raised peatbog development and possible responses to environmental changes during the mid- to late-Holocene

Can the palaeoecological record be used to predict the nature and response of raised peat bogs to future climate changes?

Dmitri Mauquoy, D. Yeloff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Palaeoecological analyses of raised peat bog deposits in northwest Europe show the naturalness, antiquity and robust response of these ecosystems to environmental changes from c. 7800 years ago to the present. A review of the techniques used to identify these long-term features is presented and the role of climate change, autogenic change processes and human disturbance is discussed. Millennial records of vegetation changes recorded in peat deposits demonstrate the response (often rapid) of raised peat bog vegetation to climatic changes during the mid-Holocene, Bronze Age/Iron Age transition and the Little Ice Age. Greenhouse warming scenarios exceed the reconstructed Holocene record of climatic changes (c. the last 11, 500 years), and bog-water tables may fall considerably. A combination of centennial palaeoecological analyses of bogs affected by human disturbance and experimental manipulations have been used as analogues for the potential response of raised peat bog vegetation to these changes. These show that possible greenhouse gas climate forcing scenarios may exceed the ability of Sphagnum- dominated raised peat bogs to respond to projected increases in summer temperature and decreases in summer precipitation. In combination with increasing N deposition, a loss of their Sphagnum-rich vegetation and increases in the abundance of vascular plants could occur on decadal timescales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2139-2151
Number of pages12
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Volume17
Issue number9
Early online date2 Sep 2007
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008

Keywords

  • climate change
  • conservation
  • macrofossils
  • palaeoclimate
  • raised peat bogs
  • solar forcing
  • organic deposits
  • Northern England
  • mire ecosystems
  • testate amebas
  • solar-activity
  • Walton Moss
  • Scots Pine
  • sphagnum
  • variability
  • Ireland

Cite this

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title = "Raised peatbog development and possible responses to environmental changes during the mid- to late-Holocene: Can the palaeoecological record be used to predict the nature and response of raised peat bogs to future climate changes?",
abstract = "Palaeoecological analyses of raised peat bog deposits in northwest Europe show the naturalness, antiquity and robust response of these ecosystems to environmental changes from c. 7800 years ago to the present. A review of the techniques used to identify these long-term features is presented and the role of climate change, autogenic change processes and human disturbance is discussed. Millennial records of vegetation changes recorded in peat deposits demonstrate the response (often rapid) of raised peat bog vegetation to climatic changes during the mid-Holocene, Bronze Age/Iron Age transition and the Little Ice Age. Greenhouse warming scenarios exceed the reconstructed Holocene record of climatic changes (c. the last 11, 500 years), and bog-water tables may fall considerably. A combination of centennial palaeoecological analyses of bogs affected by human disturbance and experimental manipulations have been used as analogues for the potential response of raised peat bog vegetation to these changes. These show that possible greenhouse gas climate forcing scenarios may exceed the ability of Sphagnum- dominated raised peat bogs to respond to projected increases in summer temperature and decreases in summer precipitation. In combination with increasing N deposition, a loss of their Sphagnum-rich vegetation and increases in the abundance of vascular plants could occur on decadal timescales.",
keywords = "climate change, conservation, macrofossils, palaeoclimate, raised peat bogs, solar forcing, organic deposits, Northern England, mire ecosystems, testate amebas, solar-activity, Walton Moss, Scots Pine, sphagnum, variability, Ireland",
author = "Dmitri Mauquoy and D. Yeloff",
note = "From the issue entitled {"}Special issue: Palaeoecology and long-term wetland function dynamics: A tool for wetland conservation and management (Guest edited by NJ Whitehouse and MJ Bunting){"}",
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T2 - Can the palaeoecological record be used to predict the nature and response of raised peat bogs to future climate changes?

AU - Mauquoy, Dmitri

AU - Yeloff, D.

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PY - 2008/8

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N2 - Palaeoecological analyses of raised peat bog deposits in northwest Europe show the naturalness, antiquity and robust response of these ecosystems to environmental changes from c. 7800 years ago to the present. A review of the techniques used to identify these long-term features is presented and the role of climate change, autogenic change processes and human disturbance is discussed. Millennial records of vegetation changes recorded in peat deposits demonstrate the response (often rapid) of raised peat bog vegetation to climatic changes during the mid-Holocene, Bronze Age/Iron Age transition and the Little Ice Age. Greenhouse warming scenarios exceed the reconstructed Holocene record of climatic changes (c. the last 11, 500 years), and bog-water tables may fall considerably. A combination of centennial palaeoecological analyses of bogs affected by human disturbance and experimental manipulations have been used as analogues for the potential response of raised peat bog vegetation to these changes. These show that possible greenhouse gas climate forcing scenarios may exceed the ability of Sphagnum- dominated raised peat bogs to respond to projected increases in summer temperature and decreases in summer precipitation. In combination with increasing N deposition, a loss of their Sphagnum-rich vegetation and increases in the abundance of vascular plants could occur on decadal timescales.

AB - Palaeoecological analyses of raised peat bog deposits in northwest Europe show the naturalness, antiquity and robust response of these ecosystems to environmental changes from c. 7800 years ago to the present. A review of the techniques used to identify these long-term features is presented and the role of climate change, autogenic change processes and human disturbance is discussed. Millennial records of vegetation changes recorded in peat deposits demonstrate the response (often rapid) of raised peat bog vegetation to climatic changes during the mid-Holocene, Bronze Age/Iron Age transition and the Little Ice Age. Greenhouse warming scenarios exceed the reconstructed Holocene record of climatic changes (c. the last 11, 500 years), and bog-water tables may fall considerably. A combination of centennial palaeoecological analyses of bogs affected by human disturbance and experimental manipulations have been used as analogues for the potential response of raised peat bog vegetation to these changes. These show that possible greenhouse gas climate forcing scenarios may exceed the ability of Sphagnum- dominated raised peat bogs to respond to projected increases in summer temperature and decreases in summer precipitation. In combination with increasing N deposition, a loss of their Sphagnum-rich vegetation and increases in the abundance of vascular plants could occur on decadal timescales.

KW - climate change

KW - conservation

KW - macrofossils

KW - palaeoclimate

KW - raised peat bogs

KW - solar forcing

KW - organic deposits

KW - Northern England

KW - mire ecosystems

KW - testate amebas

KW - solar-activity

KW - Walton Moss

KW - Scots Pine

KW - sphagnum

KW - variability

KW - Ireland

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DO - 10.1007/s10531-007-9222-2

M3 - Article

VL - 17

SP - 2139

EP - 2151

JO - Biodiversity and Conservation

JF - Biodiversity and Conservation

SN - 0960-3115

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ER -