Holocene fen-bog transitions, current status in Finland and future perspectives

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Väliranta , M , Salojärvi , N , Vuorsalo , A , Juutinen , S , Korhola , A , Luoto , M & Tuittila , E-S 2017 , ' Holocene fen-bog transitions, current status in Finland and future perspectives ' , Holocene , vol. 27 , no. 5 , pp. 752-764 . https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683616670471

Title: Holocene fen-bog transitions, current status in Finland and future perspectives
Author: Väliranta, Minna; Salojärvi, Niina; Vuorsalo, Annina; Juutinen, Sari; Korhola, Atte; Luoto, Miska; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina
Contributor organization: Environmental Sciences
Department of Forest Sciences
Department of Geosciences and Geography
Environmental Change Research Unit (ECRU)
Date: 2017-05
Language: eng
Number of pages: 13
Belongs to series: Holocene
ISSN: 0959-6836
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683616670471
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/307666
Abstract: Minerotrophic fens and ombrotrophic bogs differ in their nutrient status, hydrology, vegetation and carbon dynamics, and their geographical distribution is linked to various climate parameters. Currently, bogs dominate the northern temperate and southern boreal zones but climate warming may cause a northwards shift in the distribution of the bog zone. To more profoundly understand the sensitivity of peatlands to changes in climate, we first used the plant macrofossil method to identify plant communities that are characteristic of past fen-bog transitions. These transitions were radiocarbon dated, to be linked to Holocene climate phases. Subsequently, palaeoecological data were combined with an extensive vegetation survey dataset collected along the current fen-bog ecotone in Finland where we studied how the distribution of the key plant species identified from peat records is currently related to the most important environmental variables. The fossil plant records revealed clear successional phases: an initial Carex-dominated fen phase, an Eriophorum vaginatum-dominated oligotrophic fen phase followed by an early bog phase with wet bog Sphagna. This was occasionally followed by a dry ombrotrophic bog phase. Timing of initiation and phase transitions, and duration of succession phases varied between three sites studied. However, the final ombrotrophication occurred during 2000-3000 cal. BP corresponding to the neoglacial cooling phase. Dry mid-Holocene seems to have facilitated initiation of Eriophorum fens. The peatlands surveyed in the fen-bog ecotone were classified into succession phases based on the key species distribution. In 33% of the studied peatlands, Sphagnum had taken over and we interpret they are going through a final transition from fen to bog. In addition to autogenic processes and direct climate impact, our results showed that ecosystem shifts are also driven by allogenic disturbances, such as fires, suggesting that climate change can indirectly assist the ombrotrophication process in the southern border of the fen-bog ecotone.
Subject: Boosted Regression Trees analysis
fen-bog ecotone
fen-bog transition
plant macrofossil analysis
1172 Environmental sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: unspecified
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion

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