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Fire as an important factor for the genesis of boreal Picea abies swamp forests in Fennoscandia
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
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2012 (English)In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 22, no 2, 203-214 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The initial establishment of Picea abies in Sweden and Norway on a landscape level, between 3000 and 1000 years ago, was often preceded by recurrent fire and thereafter the influence of fire decreased. However, in some swamp forests, the absence of fire over the last 3500 years has promoted the continuous presence of deciduous trees, i.e. Picea has not established although it has been present regionally for over 3000 years. Our objective was to study long-term vegetation development and fire history in a Picea swamp forest located close (c. 600 m) to a deciduous swamp forest with a documented fire-free history in northernmost Sweden. The study included analyses of charred particles, pollen and ignition residues. Principal component analysis was applied to identify major changes in the pollen spectra. Our results showed that the current Picea swamp forest has developed from a deciduous fen and that fires affected the fen between 6700 and 2300 cal. yr BP. Picea abies established on the fen around 2200 cal. yr BP, following the last local on-site fire. The main factors responsible for the local vegetation development have been: fire (6700 to 2300 cal. yr BP); autogenous processes and climate (2300 to 1000 cal. yr BP); autogenous processes or anthropogenic impact (1000 to 300 cal. yr BP); anthropogenic impact through selective cutting and grazing (300 to 100 cal. yr BP); and autogenous processes and grazing (100 cal. yr BP to present). We conclude that fire facilitated the initial Picea abies establishment. Once established, Picea abies created local conditions that in combination with a colder and wetter climate prevented fire and the establishment of other tree species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 22, no 2, 203-214 p.
Keyword [en]
charred particles, fire history, loss-on-ignition, pollen, succession
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-52200DOI: 10.1177/0959683611414936ISI: 000298746900007OAI: diva2:499950
Available from: 2012-02-13 Created: 2012-02-13 Last updated: 2016-02-26Bibliographically approved

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Hörnberg, GregerKorsman, Tom
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