Widespread drying of European peatlands in recent centuries

Graeme T. Swindles* (Corresponding Author), Paul J. Morris, Donal J. Mullan, Richard J. Payne, Thomas P. Roland, Matthew J. Amesbury, Mariusz Lamentowicz, T. Edward Turner, Angela Gallego-Sala, Thomas Sim, Iestyn D. Barr, Maarten Blaauw, Antony Blundell, Frank M. Chambers, Dan J. Charman, Angelica Feurdean, Jennifer M. Galloway, Mariusz Gałka, Sophie M. Green, Katarzyna KajukałoEdgar Karofeld, Atte Korhola, Łukasz Lamentowicz, Peter Langdon, Katarzyna Marcisz, Dmitri Mauquoy, Yuri A. Mazei, Michelle M. McKeown, Edward A. D. Mitchell, Elena Novenko, Gill Plunkett, Helen M. Roe, Kristian Schoning, Ülle Sillasoo, Andrey N. Tsyganov, Marjolein van der Linden, Minna Väliranta, Barry Warner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Climate warming and human impacts are thought to be causing peatlands to dry, potentially converting them from sinks to sources of carbon. However, it is unclear whether the hydrological status of peatlands has moved beyond their natural envelope. Here we show that European peatlands have undergone substantial, widespread drying during the last ~300 years. We analyse testate amoeba-derived hydrological reconstructions from 31 peatlands across Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and Continental Europe to examine changes in peatland surface wetness during the last 2,000 years. We find that 60% of our study sites were drier during the period 1800–2000 CE than they have been for the last 600 years, 40% of sites were drier than they have been for 1,000 years and 24% of sites were drier than they have been for 2,000 years. This marked recent transition in the hydrology of European peatlands is concurrent with compound pressures including climatic drying, warming and direct human impacts on peatlands, although these factors vary among regions and individual sites. Our results suggest that the wetness of many European peatlands may now be moving away from natural baselines. Our findings highlight the need for effective management and restoration of European peatlands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)922–928
Number of pages7
JournalNature Geoscience
Volume12
Issue number11
Early online date21 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Fingerprint

peatland
anthropogenic effect
warming
drying
hydrology
carbon
climate

Keywords

  • wetlands
  • climate change
  • hydrology
  • carbon
  • Europe
  • HYDROLOGICAL CHANGE
  • WATER TABLES
  • MULTI-PROXY
  • CLIMATE-CHANGE
  • HUMAN IMPACT
  • TESTATE AMEBAS
  • LATE HOLOCENE
  • CARBON ACCUMULATION
  • LAST 2000 YEARS
  • RAISED BOG

Cite this

Swindles, G. T., Morris, P. J., Mullan, D. J., Payne, R. J., Roland, T. P., Amesbury, M. J., ... Warner, B. (2019). Widespread drying of European peatlands in recent centuries. Nature Geoscience, 12(11), 922–928. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-019-0462-z

Widespread drying of European peatlands in recent centuries. / Swindles, Graeme T. (Corresponding Author); Morris, Paul J.; Mullan, Donal J.; Payne, Richard J.; Roland, Thomas P.; Amesbury, Matthew J.; Lamentowicz, Mariusz; Turner, T. Edward; Gallego-Sala, Angela; Sim, Thomas; Barr, Iestyn D.; Blaauw, Maarten; Blundell, Antony; Chambers, Frank M.; Charman, Dan J.; Feurdean, Angelica; Galloway, Jennifer M.; Gałka, Mariusz; Green, Sophie M.; Kajukało, Katarzyna; Karofeld, Edgar; Korhola, Atte; Lamentowicz, Łukasz; Langdon, Peter; Marcisz, Katarzyna; Mauquoy, Dmitri; Mazei, Yuri A.; McKeown, Michelle M.; Mitchell, Edward A. D.; Novenko, Elena; Plunkett, Gill; Roe, Helen M.; Schoning, Kristian; Sillasoo, Ülle; Tsyganov, Andrey N.; van der Linden, Marjolein; Väliranta, Minna; Warner, Barry.

In: Nature Geoscience, Vol. 12, No. 11, 11.2019, p. 922–928.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Swindles, GT, Morris, PJ, Mullan, DJ, Payne, RJ, Roland, TP, Amesbury, MJ, Lamentowicz, M, Turner, TE, Gallego-Sala, A, Sim, T, Barr, ID, Blaauw, M, Blundell, A, Chambers, FM, Charman, DJ, Feurdean, A, Galloway, JM, Gałka, M, Green, SM, Kajukało, K, Karofeld, E, Korhola, A, Lamentowicz, Ł, Langdon, P, Marcisz, K, Mauquoy, D, Mazei, YA, McKeown, MM, Mitchell, EAD, Novenko, E, Plunkett, G, Roe, HM, Schoning, K, Sillasoo, Ü, Tsyganov, AN, van der Linden, M, Väliranta, M & Warner, B 2019, 'Widespread drying of European peatlands in recent centuries', Nature Geoscience, vol. 12, no. 11, pp. 922–928. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-019-0462-z
Swindles GT, Morris PJ, Mullan DJ, Payne RJ, Roland TP, Amesbury MJ et al. Widespread drying of European peatlands in recent centuries. Nature Geoscience. 2019 Nov;12(11):922–928. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-019-0462-z
Swindles, Graeme T. ; Morris, Paul J. ; Mullan, Donal J. ; Payne, Richard J. ; Roland, Thomas P. ; Amesbury, Matthew J. ; Lamentowicz, Mariusz ; Turner, T. Edward ; Gallego-Sala, Angela ; Sim, Thomas ; Barr, Iestyn D. ; Blaauw, Maarten ; Blundell, Antony ; Chambers, Frank M. ; Charman, Dan J. ; Feurdean, Angelica ; Galloway, Jennifer M. ; Gałka, Mariusz ; Green, Sophie M. ; Kajukało, Katarzyna ; Karofeld, Edgar ; Korhola, Atte ; Lamentowicz, Łukasz ; Langdon, Peter ; Marcisz, Katarzyna ; Mauquoy, Dmitri ; Mazei, Yuri A. ; McKeown, Michelle M. ; Mitchell, Edward A. D. ; Novenko, Elena ; Plunkett, Gill ; Roe, Helen M. ; Schoning, Kristian ; Sillasoo, Ülle ; Tsyganov, Andrey N. ; van der Linden, Marjolein ; Väliranta, Minna ; Warner, Barry. / Widespread drying of European peatlands in recent centuries. In: Nature Geoscience. 2019 ; Vol. 12, No. 11. pp. 922–928.
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title = "Widespread drying of European peatlands in recent centuries",
abstract = "Climate warming and human impacts are thought to be causing peatlands to dry, potentially converting them from sinks to sources of carbon. However, it is unclear whether the hydrological status of peatlands has moved beyond their natural envelope. Here we show that European peatlands have undergone substantial, widespread drying during the last ~300 years. We analyse testate amoeba-derived hydrological reconstructions from 31 peatlands across Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and Continental Europe to examine changes in peatland surface wetness during the last 2,000 years. We find that 60{\%} of our study sites were drier during the period 1800–2000 CE than they have been for the last 600 years, 40{\%} of sites were drier than they have been for 1,000 years and 24{\%} of sites were drier than they have been for 2,000 years. This marked recent transition in the hydrology of European peatlands is concurrent with compound pressures including climatic drying, warming and direct human impacts on peatlands, although these factors vary among regions and individual sites. Our results suggest that the wetness of many European peatlands may now be moving away from natural baselines. Our findings highlight the need for effective management and restoration of European peatlands.",
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author = "Swindles, {Graeme T.} and Morris, {Paul J.} and Mullan, {Donal J.} and Payne, {Richard J.} and Roland, {Thomas P.} and Amesbury, {Matthew J.} and Mariusz Lamentowicz and Turner, {T. Edward} and Angela Gallego-Sala and Thomas Sim and Barr, {Iestyn D.} and Maarten Blaauw and Antony Blundell and Chambers, {Frank M.} and Charman, {Dan J.} and Angelica Feurdean and Galloway, {Jennifer M.} and Mariusz Gałka and Green, {Sophie M.} and Katarzyna Kajukało and Edgar Karofeld and Atte Korhola and Łukasz Lamentowicz and Peter Langdon and Katarzyna Marcisz and Dmitri Mauquoy and Mazei, {Yuri A.} and McKeown, {Michelle M.} and Mitchell, {Edward A. D.} and Elena Novenko and Gill Plunkett and Roe, {Helen M.} and Kristian Schoning and {\"U}lle Sillasoo and Tsyganov, {Andrey N.} and {van der Linden}, Marjolein and Minna V{\"a}liranta and Barry Warner",
note = "We thank all the organizations that have funded the data used in this analysis: Academy of Finland (grant no. 296423); Department for Employment and Learning (Northern Ireland); European Commission (Fifth Framework); INTERACT (European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme); Irish Discovery Programme; Leverhulme Trust; National Science Centre (Poland); Natural Environment Research Council (UK); Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research; Polish National Science Centre (grant no. 2015/17/B/ST10/01656); Quaternary Research Association; Russian Science Foundation (grant no. 19-14-00102); Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union; Swiss Federal Office for Education and Science; Swiss National Science Foundation; World University Network; W{\"u}thrich Fund (University of Neuch{\^a}tel); and Yorkshire Water. T.G.S. is funded by the Leeds–York Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Doctoral Training Partnership (grant no. NE/L002574/1). T.E.T. acknowledges NERC Doctoral Training Grant no. NE/G52398X/1. For J.M.G., this paper represents a contribution from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan contribution number/Num{\'e}ro de contribution de RNCan, 20190079). G.T.S. acknowledges financial support from the Dutch Foundation for the Conservation of Irish Bogs. We thank L. Brown and A. Baird (University of Leeds) for constructive comments on the manuscript. This is a contribution to the PAGES C-PEAT group. PAGES is supported by the US National Science Foundation and the Swiss Academy of Sciences. We dedicate this work to co-author Richard J. Payne who was tragically killed while climbing Nanda Devi in the Garhwal Himalayas whilst the manuscript was in review.",
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T1 - Widespread drying of European peatlands in recent centuries

AU - Swindles, Graeme T.

AU - Morris, Paul J.

AU - Mullan, Donal J.

AU - Payne, Richard J.

AU - Roland, Thomas P.

AU - Amesbury, Matthew J.

AU - Lamentowicz, Mariusz

AU - Turner, T. Edward

AU - Gallego-Sala, Angela

AU - Sim, Thomas

AU - Barr, Iestyn D.

AU - Blaauw, Maarten

AU - Blundell, Antony

AU - Chambers, Frank M.

AU - Charman, Dan J.

AU - Feurdean, Angelica

AU - Galloway, Jennifer M.

AU - Gałka, Mariusz

AU - Green, Sophie M.

AU - Kajukało, Katarzyna

AU - Karofeld, Edgar

AU - Korhola, Atte

AU - Lamentowicz, Łukasz

AU - Langdon, Peter

AU - Marcisz, Katarzyna

AU - Mauquoy, Dmitri

AU - Mazei, Yuri A.

AU - McKeown, Michelle M.

AU - Mitchell, Edward A. D.

AU - Novenko, Elena

AU - Plunkett, Gill

AU - Roe, Helen M.

AU - Schoning, Kristian

AU - Sillasoo, Ülle

AU - Tsyganov, Andrey N.

AU - van der Linden, Marjolein

AU - Väliranta, Minna

AU - Warner, Barry

N1 - We thank all the organizations that have funded the data used in this analysis: Academy of Finland (grant no. 296423); Department for Employment and Learning (Northern Ireland); European Commission (Fifth Framework); INTERACT (European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme); Irish Discovery Programme; Leverhulme Trust; National Science Centre (Poland); Natural Environment Research Council (UK); Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research; Polish National Science Centre (grant no. 2015/17/B/ST10/01656); Quaternary Research Association; Russian Science Foundation (grant no. 19-14-00102); Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union; Swiss Federal Office for Education and Science; Swiss National Science Foundation; World University Network; Wüthrich Fund (University of Neuchâtel); and Yorkshire Water. T.G.S. is funded by the Leeds–York Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Doctoral Training Partnership (grant no. NE/L002574/1). T.E.T. acknowledges NERC Doctoral Training Grant no. NE/G52398X/1. For J.M.G., this paper represents a contribution from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan contribution number/Numéro de contribution de RNCan, 20190079). G.T.S. acknowledges financial support from the Dutch Foundation for the Conservation of Irish Bogs. We thank L. Brown and A. Baird (University of Leeds) for constructive comments on the manuscript. This is a contribution to the PAGES C-PEAT group. PAGES is supported by the US National Science Foundation and the Swiss Academy of Sciences. We dedicate this work to co-author Richard J. Payne who was tragically killed while climbing Nanda Devi in the Garhwal Himalayas whilst the manuscript was in review.

PY - 2019/11

Y1 - 2019/11

N2 - Climate warming and human impacts are thought to be causing peatlands to dry, potentially converting them from sinks to sources of carbon. However, it is unclear whether the hydrological status of peatlands has moved beyond their natural envelope. Here we show that European peatlands have undergone substantial, widespread drying during the last ~300 years. We analyse testate amoeba-derived hydrological reconstructions from 31 peatlands across Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and Continental Europe to examine changes in peatland surface wetness during the last 2,000 years. We find that 60% of our study sites were drier during the period 1800–2000 CE than they have been for the last 600 years, 40% of sites were drier than they have been for 1,000 years and 24% of sites were drier than they have been for 2,000 years. This marked recent transition in the hydrology of European peatlands is concurrent with compound pressures including climatic drying, warming and direct human impacts on peatlands, although these factors vary among regions and individual sites. Our results suggest that the wetness of many European peatlands may now be moving away from natural baselines. Our findings highlight the need for effective management and restoration of European peatlands.

AB - Climate warming and human impacts are thought to be causing peatlands to dry, potentially converting them from sinks to sources of carbon. However, it is unclear whether the hydrological status of peatlands has moved beyond their natural envelope. Here we show that European peatlands have undergone substantial, widespread drying during the last ~300 years. We analyse testate amoeba-derived hydrological reconstructions from 31 peatlands across Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and Continental Europe to examine changes in peatland surface wetness during the last 2,000 years. We find that 60% of our study sites were drier during the period 1800–2000 CE than they have been for the last 600 years, 40% of sites were drier than they have been for 1,000 years and 24% of sites were drier than they have been for 2,000 years. This marked recent transition in the hydrology of European peatlands is concurrent with compound pressures including climatic drying, warming and direct human impacts on peatlands, although these factors vary among regions and individual sites. Our results suggest that the wetness of many European peatlands may now be moving away from natural baselines. Our findings highlight the need for effective management and restoration of European peatlands.

KW - wetlands

KW - climate change

KW - hydrology

KW - carbon

KW - Europe

KW - HYDROLOGICAL CHANGE

KW - WATER TABLES

KW - MULTI-PROXY

KW - CLIMATE-CHANGE

KW - HUMAN IMPACT

KW - TESTATE AMEBAS

KW - LATE HOLOCENE

KW - CARBON ACCUMULATION

KW - LAST 2000 YEARS

KW - RAISED BOG

U2 - 10.1038/s41561-019-0462-z

DO - 10.1038/s41561-019-0462-z

M3 - Article

VL - 12

SP - 922

EP - 928

JO - Nature Geoscience

JF - Nature Geoscience

SN - 1752-0894

IS - 11

ER -