Holocene stand-scale vegetation dynamics and fire history of an old-growth spruce forest in southern Finland

Clear, J L and Seppa, H and Kuosmanen, N and Bradshaw, R H W (2015) Holocene stand-scale vegetation dynamics and fire history of an old-growth spruce forest in southern Finland. Vegetation History and Archeobotany, 24 (6). pp. 731-741. ISSN 0939-6314

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Abstract

Forest vegetation composition, including
dominant keystone species and floristic diversity, is driven
by natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Disentangling
these complex interactions to identify the role of species
competition, climate and disturbances in boreal forest dynamics
is challenging. Here, pollen and charcoal data are
used to reconstruct Holocene vegetation and fire history at
the local stand-scale within an old-growth Picea abies
(Norway spruce) forest hollow in southern Finland. The
aim is to reconstruct vegetation history with specific emphasis
on the mid-Holocene expansion of Picea and the
decline in deciduous species in relation to fire history.
Early-Holocene forest development and vegetation dynamics
are primarily driven by climatic variations. The
spread of Picea at approximately 5,200 cal BP does not
coincide with local natural or anthropogenic disturbance or
a decline in deciduous species and is consistent with its
regional expansion, suggesting climate as the most likely
control over the late establishment of this taxon. The mid-
Holocene decline in deciduous species corresponds to an
increased fire frequency suggesting a higher anthropogenic
disturbance (also considered as the primary reason for the
loss of floristic diversity in southern Finland). The ‘natural’
fire frequency in this local stand-scale boreal forest is lower
than that observed in the recent past (i.e. the time of significant
anthropogenic impact), yet the present-day absence
or low frequency of fire remains within the range of natural
variability observed during the early- and mid-Holocene

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: The final publication is available at https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00334-015-0533-z
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Geography and Environmental Science
Depositing User: Jennifer Clear
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2017 13:08
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2017 13:08
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2036

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