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Journal Articles Quaternary Science Reviews Year : 2023

Regional variability in peatland burning at mid-to high-latitudes during the Holocene

Thomas Sim (1) , Graeme Swindles (2) , Paul Morris (1) , Andy Baird (1) , Angela Gallego-Sala (3) , Yuwan Wang , Maarten Blaauw , Philip Camill , Michelle Garneau , Mark Hardiman , Julie Loisel , Minna Vӓliranta , Lysanna Anderson , Karina Apolinarska , Femke Augustijns , Liene Aunina , Joannie Beaulne , Přemysl Bobek , Werner Borken , Nils Broothaerts , Qiao-Yu Cui , Marissa Davies , Ana Ejarque (4) , Michelle Farrell , Ingo Feeser , Angelica Feurdean , Richard Fewster , Sarah Finkelstein , Marie-José Gaillard , Mariusz Gałka , Liam Heffernan , Renske Hoevers , Miriam Jones , Teemu Juselius-Rajamäki , Edgar Karofeld , Klaus-Holger Knorr , Atte Korhola , Dmitri Kupriyanov , Malin Kylander , Terri Lacourse , Mariusz Lamentowicz , Martin Lavoie , Geoffrey Lemdahl , Dominika Łuców , Gabriel Magnan , Alekss Maksims , Claudia Mansilla , Katarzyna Marcisz , Elena Marinova , Paul J.H. Mathijssen , Dmitri Mauquoy , Yuri Mazei , Natalia Mazei , Julia Mccarroll , Robert Mcculloch , Alice Milner , Yannick Miras (5) , Fraser J.G. Mitchell , Elena Novenko , Nicolas Pelletier , Matthew Peros , Sanna Piilo , Louis-Martin Pilote , Guillaume Primeau , Damien Rius (6) , Vincent Robin (7) , Mylène Robitaille , Thomas Roland , Eleonor Ryberg , A. Britta K. Sannel , Karsten Schittek , Gabriel Servera-Vives , William Shotyk , Michał Słowiński , Normunds Stivrins , Ward Swinnen , Gareth Thompson , Alexei Tiunov , Andrey Tsyganov , Eeva-Stiina Tuittila , Gert Verstraeten , Tuomo Wallenius , Julia Webb , Debra Willard , Zicheng Yu , Claudio Zaccone , Hui Zhang
Thomas Sim
Paul Morris
Angela Gallego-Sala
Yuwan Wang
  • Function : Author
Maarten Blaauw
Philip Camill
  • Function : Author
Michelle Garneau
  • Function : Author
Mark Hardiman
  • Function : Author
Julie Loisel
  • Function : Author
Minna Vӓliranta
  • Function : Author
Lysanna Anderson
  • Function : Author
Karina Apolinarska
Femke Augustijns
  • Function : Author
Liene Aunina
  • Function : Author
Joannie Beaulne
  • Function : Author
Přemysl Bobek
  • Function : Author
Werner Borken
  • Function : Author
Nils Broothaerts
Qiao-Yu Cui
  • Function : Author
Marissa Davies
  • Function : Author
Michelle Farrell
Ingo Feeser
Angelica Feurdean
  • Function : Author
Richard Fewster
Sarah Finkelstein
  • Function : Author
Marie-José Gaillard
Mariusz Gałka
  • Function : Author
Liam Heffernan
  • Function : Author
Renske Hoevers
Miriam Jones
  • Function : Author
Teemu Juselius-Rajamäki
  • Function : Author
Edgar Karofeld
  • Function : Author
Klaus-Holger Knorr
Atte Korhola
  • Function : Author
Dmitri Kupriyanov
  • Function : Author
Malin Kylander
Terri Lacourse
Mariusz Lamentowicz
  • Function : Author
Martin Lavoie
  • Function : Author
Geoffrey Lemdahl
  • Function : Author
Dominika Łuców
  • Function : Author
Gabriel Magnan
  • Function : Author
Alekss Maksims
  • Function : Author
Claudia Mansilla
  • Function : Author
Katarzyna Marcisz
Elena Marinova
Paul J.H. Mathijssen
Dmitri Mauquoy
  • Function : Author
Yuri Mazei
  • Function : Author
Natalia Mazei
  • Function : Author
Julia Mccarroll
  • Function : Author
Robert Mcculloch
Alice Milner
Fraser J.G. Mitchell
  • Function : Author
Elena Novenko
  • Function : Author
Nicolas Pelletier
Matthew Peros
  • Function : Author
Sanna Piilo
Louis-Martin Pilote
  • Function : Author
Guillaume Primeau
  • Function : Author
Damien Rius
Mylène Robitaille
  • Function : Author
Thomas Roland
  • Function : Author
Eleonor Ryberg
  • Function : Author
A. Britta K. Sannel
Karsten Schittek
  • Function : Author
Gabriel Servera-Vives
William Shotyk
  • Function : Author
Michał Słowiński
  • Function : Author
Normunds Stivrins
  • Function : Author
Ward Swinnen
Gareth Thompson
  • Function : Author
Alexei Tiunov
Andrey Tsyganov
Eeva-Stiina Tuittila
  • Function : Author
Gert Verstraeten
Tuomo Wallenius
  • Function : Author
Julia Webb
Debra Willard
  • Function : Author
Zicheng Yu
  • Function : Author
Claudio Zaccone
Hui Zhang
  • Function : Author

Abstract

Northern peatlands store globally-important amounts of carbon in the form of partly decomposed plant detritus. Drying associated with climate and land-use change may lead to increased fire frequency and severity in peatlands and the rapid loss of carbon to the atmosphere. However, our understanding of the patterns and drivers of peatland burning on an appropriate decadal to millennial timescale relies heavily on individual site-based reconstructions. For the first time, we synthesise peatland macrocharcoal records from across North America, Europe, and Patagonia to reveal regional variation in peatland burning during the Holocene. We used an existing database of proximal sedimentary charcoal to represent regional burning trends in the wider landscape for each region. Long-term trends in peatland burning appear to be largely climate driven, with human activities likely having an increasing influence in the late Holocene. Warmer conditions during the Holocene Thermal Maximum (∼9–6 cal. ka BP) were associated with greater peatland burning in North America's Atlantic coast, southern Scandinavia and the Baltics, and Patagonia. Since the Little Ice Age, peatland burning has declined across North America and in some areas of Europe. This decline is mirrored by a decrease in wider landscape burning in some, but not all sub-regions, linked to fire-suppression policies, and landscape fragmentation caused by agricultural expansion. Peatlands demonstrate lower susceptibility to burning than the wider landscape in several instances, probably because of autogenic processes that maintain high levels of near-surface wetness even during drought. Nonetheless, widespread drying and degradation of peatlands, particularly in Europe, has likely increased their vulnerability to burning in recent centuries. Consequently, peatland restoration efforts are important to mitigate the risk of peatland fire under a changing climate. Finally, we make recommendations for future research to improve our understanding of the controls on peatland fires.
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Dates and versions

hal-04024530 , version 1 (23-11-2023)

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Thomas Sim, Graeme Swindles, Paul Morris, Andy Baird, Angela Gallego-Sala, et al.. Regional variability in peatland burning at mid-to high-latitudes during the Holocene. Quaternary Science Reviews, 2023, 305, pp.108020. ⟨10.1016/j.quascirev.2023.108020⟩. ⟨hal-04024530⟩
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