Holocene fire in Fennoscandia and Denmark

Clear, J L and Molinari, C and Bradshaw, R H W (2014) Holocene fire in Fennoscandia and Denmark. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 23 (6). pp. 781-789. ISSN 1049-8001

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Abstract

Natural disturbance dynamics, such as fire, have a fundamental control on forest composition and structure.
Knowledge of fire history and the dominant drivers of fire are becoming increasingly important for conservation and
management practice. Temporal and spatial variability in biomass burning is examined here using 170 charcoal and 15 fire
scar records collated throughout Fennoscandia and Denmark. The changing fire regime is discussed in relation to
local biogeographical controls, regional climatic change, anthropogenic land use and fire suppression. The region has
experienced episodic variability in the dominant drivers of biomass burning throughout the Holocene, creating a
frequently changing fire regime. Early Holocene biomass burning appears to be driven by fuel availability. Increased
continentality during the mid-Holocene Thermal Maximum coincides with an increase in fire. The mid–late Holocene
front-like spread of Picea abies (Norway spruce) and cooler, wetter climatic conditions reduce local biomass burning
before the onset of intensified anthropogenic land use, and the late Holocene increase in anthropogenic activity created
artificially high records of biomass burning that overshadowed the natural fire signal. An economic shift from extensive
subsistence land use to agriculture and forestry as well as active fire suppression has reduced regional biomass burning.
However, it is proposed that without anthropogenic fire suppression, the underlying natural fire signal would remain low
because of the now widespread dominance of P. abies.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is an Open Access article, published by CSIRO Publishing in the International Journal of Wildland Fire. Full version available at http://www.publish.csiro.au/wf/WF13188
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Geography and Environmental Science
Depositing User: Jennifer Clear
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2017 08:53
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2017 08:54
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2035

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