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Fire history in the hemiboreal and southern boreal zones of southern Sweden during 11000 years: Relationships with past vegetation composition and human activities and implications for biodiversity issues
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. (Palaeoecology)
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis studies fire history over the last 11 000 years (Holocene) in central Småland, southern Sweden, on the basis of palaeoecological analyses of peat sequences from three small bogs (Notteryd, Stavsåkra and Storasjö). The main objective is to gain insights into the long-term relationships between fire, climate, human-impact, other environmental factors and the history of biodiversity in the study region. The following hypotheses are tested: 1) there are no between-site differences in i) Holocene fire history, ii) abundance of deciduous trees versus pine and forest openness over the Holocene, and iii) landscape history over the last three centuries, and 2) there are no within-site differences in the Holocene charcoal records.

Hypothesis 1 (i-iii) is tested using all charcoal records (three sites) and pollen-based Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm (LRA) estimates of past percentage cover of plant taxa and land-use/vegetation units over the last three centuries (test of the LRA using historical maps), and the entire Holocene. Hypothesis 2 is tested using two parallel charcoal records from the same core at Notteryd. The charcoal data comprise continuous records of macroscopic charcoal (macro-C), microscopic charcoal records from pollen slides, and identification of charcoal fragments to plant taxa. Chronologies are based on series of 14C dates from terrestrial plant remains and age-depth models achieved using Bayesian statistics.

Accumulation rates (AR) of the area of macro-C was found to be better to use than AR of the number of macro-C for interpretation of the results. Within-site differences in charcoal records exist and have to be considered. Besides climate, forest tree-composition (related to geomorphological settings) was shown to play a primordial role in Early and Mid-Holocene fire history, while land-use was a major factor in the Late Holocene. Three different histories of forest development and land-use changes within the same region are revealed, implying a multitude of landscape types over time and space. These long-term landscape histories were at the origin of the high biodiversity still existing in the 18th century. Major landscape transformations due to agrarian reforms since the 18th century resulted in a dramatic loss of landscape and species biodiversity over the last two centuries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2013.
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 155/2013
Keywords [en]
Fire history, land-use history, biodiversity, charcoal analysis, Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm (LRA), Holocene, Småland, Sweden
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Research subject
Environmental Science, Paleoecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-30154ISBN: 978-91-87427-62-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-30154DiVA, id: diva2:662156
Public defence
2013-12-05, B135, Fullriggaren, Barlastgatan 11, Kalmar, Kalmar, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-11-10 Created: 2013-11-06 Last updated: 2013-11-10Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Humans and fire: Consequences of anthropogenic burning during the past 2 Ka
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Humans and fire: Consequences of anthropogenic burning during the past 2 Ka
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2010 (English)In: PAGES News, ISSN 1811-1602, E-ISSN 1811-1610, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 80-82Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The case studies here illustrate how the timing and consequences of anthropogenic interventions in natural fire regimes vary greatly across space and depend heavily on local ecological context; they also demonstrate why the cumulative

global effects of anthropogenic impacts on fire regimes have been difficult to detect until the past two centuries (Fig. 2). Increasing efforts to synthesize existing paleoecological records (Power et al., 2009), and combine multiproxy evidence of paleoenvironmental changes with archeological data and modeling promise valuable advancements in our understanding of coupled human-natural systems in the past.

National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Environmental Science, Paleoecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-9987 (URN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2011-01-14 Created: 2011-01-14 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
2. The role of tree composition in Holocene fire history of the hemiboreal and southern boreal zones of southern Sweden, as revealed by the application of the Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm: Implications for biodiversity and climate-change issues
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The role of tree composition in Holocene fire history of the hemiboreal and southern boreal zones of southern Sweden, as revealed by the application of the Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm: Implications for biodiversity and climate-change issues
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2013 (English)In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 23, no 12, p. 1747-1763Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present a quantitative reconstruction of local forest history at two sites, Stavsåkra (hemiboreal zone) and Storasjö (southern boreal zone), in southern Sweden (province of Småland) to evaluate possible causes of contrasting Holocene fire histories in mid- and late Holocene. The Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm (LRA) is applied to evaluate between-site differences in the relative abundance of deciduous trees and Pinus (pine) and landscape/woodland openness during the Holocene. The LRA estimates of local vegetation abundance are compared with other proxies of local vegetation, that is, plant and beetle remains. The LRA results suggest that Pinus was a major tree taxon in the woodlands of Storasjö during mid- and late Holocene, while Tilia(linden) and Betula (birch) were dominant at Stavsåkra. The contrasting fire histories are shown to be strongly related to between-site differences in tree composition during mid-Holocene, 4000–2000 BC in particular. The archaeological/historical and beetle data indicate contrasting land uses from c. 1000BC (late Bronze Age/early Iron Age), grazing in open Calluna heaths at Stavsåkra and woodland grazing at Storasjö. Between-site differences in fire historyduring late Holocene were likely due to different land-use practices. Between-site differences in tree composition in mid-Holocene are best explainedby local climatic and geological/geomorphological differences between the hemiboreal and southern boreal zones of Småland, which might also be the primary cause of between-site differences in land-use histories during late Holocene. Maintenance of biodiversity at the landscape scale in the studyarea requires that existing old pine woodlands and Calluna heath are managed with fire and cattle grazing. Further climate warming might lead to higherprobabilities of climate-induces fire, in particular in pine-dominated woodlands.

Keywords
biodiversity, climate change, fire, forest history, Holocene, Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Research subject
Environmental Science, Paleoecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-30144 (URN)10.1177/0959683613505339 (DOI)000327472500009 ()2-s2.0-84888609120 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2013-11-06 Created: 2013-11-06 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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