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Calibrated pollen accumulation rates as a basis for quantitative tree biomass reconstructions

Seppa, Heikki; Alenius, Teija; Muukkonen, Petteri; Giesecke, Thomas; Miller, Paul LU and Ojala, Antti E. K. (2009) In The Holocene 19(2). p.209-220
Abstract
Recent investigations show that the pollen accumulation rate (PAR) of the common tree taxa is directly related to the biomass and, by inference, to the population size of the taxa around the study site. Fossil PAR records preserved in lakes provide therefore a potential proxy for quantitative biomass and population reconstructions. We use the high-resolution PAR records obtained from two accurately dated lake sediment cores in Finland to generate quantitative Holocene biomass records for Pinus, Picea and Betula, the most common tree taxa of the European Boreal forest. PAR values were calibrated to biomass values by comparing the modern PAR values with the modern biomass values and assuming a linear relationship between the past PAR and... (More)
Recent investigations show that the pollen accumulation rate (PAR) of the common tree taxa is directly related to the biomass and, by inference, to the population size of the taxa around the study site. Fossil PAR records preserved in lakes provide therefore a potential proxy for quantitative biomass and population reconstructions. We use the high-resolution PAR records obtained from two accurately dated lake sediment cores in Finland to generate quantitative Holocene biomass records for Pinus, Picea and Betula, the most common tree taxa of the European Boreal forest. PAR values were calibrated to biomass values by comparing the modern PAR values with the modern biomass values and assuming a linear relationship between the past PAR and biomass values. The obtained PAR and biomass values and trends are remarkably coherent between the two records. Pinus has a stable Holocene biomass size and its modern biomass, about 20 t/ha corresponds with the natural Pinus biomass in the study regions. In contrast, Picea immigrated from the East during the mid Holocene, had a maximum biomass, 50-60 t/ha, at 3500-1000 cal. yr BP, and declined strongly during the last 1500-1000 years as a result of increased human activity and related rise of fire frequency. Thus, the modern Picea biomass in the study regions, about 22 t/ha, is only 35-40% of the natural Picea biomass. The results of this pilot study demonstrate the potential of the calibrated PAR data in quantitative biomass and population reconstructions. Such reconstructions can provide fresh insights into the structure of past plant communities and, when combined with records reflecting palaeoclimates, natural disturbances, and human activity, can help to disentangle the long-term importance of different enviromental drivers to changes in plants populations and ecosystems. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
competitive interactions, climate, population, biomass, Boreal forest, Pollen accumulation rate, Holocene, disturbances
in
The Holocene
volume
19
issue
2
pages
209 - 220
publisher
SAGE Publications Inc.
external identifiers
  • wos:000264239900004
  • scopus:67449121887
ISSN
0959-6836
DOI
10.1177/0959683608100565
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
13cad6a5-7908-4de1-a7f0-aceffe31a5b7 (old id 1401857)
date added to LUP
2009-06-15 09:42:45
date last changed
2017-10-29 03:31:23
@article{13cad6a5-7908-4de1-a7f0-aceffe31a5b7,
  abstract     = {Recent investigations show that the pollen accumulation rate (PAR) of the common tree taxa is directly related to the biomass and, by inference, to the population size of the taxa around the study site. Fossil PAR records preserved in lakes provide therefore a potential proxy for quantitative biomass and population reconstructions. We use the high-resolution PAR records obtained from two accurately dated lake sediment cores in Finland to generate quantitative Holocene biomass records for Pinus, Picea and Betula, the most common tree taxa of the European Boreal forest. PAR values were calibrated to biomass values by comparing the modern PAR values with the modern biomass values and assuming a linear relationship between the past PAR and biomass values. The obtained PAR and biomass values and trends are remarkably coherent between the two records. Pinus has a stable Holocene biomass size and its modern biomass, about 20 t/ha corresponds with the natural Pinus biomass in the study regions. In contrast, Picea immigrated from the East during the mid Holocene, had a maximum biomass, 50-60 t/ha, at 3500-1000 cal. yr BP, and declined strongly during the last 1500-1000 years as a result of increased human activity and related rise of fire frequency. Thus, the modern Picea biomass in the study regions, about 22 t/ha, is only 35-40% of the natural Picea biomass. The results of this pilot study demonstrate the potential of the calibrated PAR data in quantitative biomass and population reconstructions. Such reconstructions can provide fresh insights into the structure of past plant communities and, when combined with records reflecting palaeoclimates, natural disturbances, and human activity, can help to disentangle the long-term importance of different enviromental drivers to changes in plants populations and ecosystems.},
  author       = {Seppa, Heikki and Alenius, Teija and Muukkonen, Petteri and Giesecke, Thomas and Miller, Paul and Ojala, Antti E. K.},
  issn         = {0959-6836},
  keyword      = {competitive interactions,climate,population,biomass,Boreal forest,Pollen accumulation rate,Holocene,disturbances},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {209--220},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications Inc.},
  series       = {The Holocene},
  title        = {Calibrated pollen accumulation rates as a basis for quantitative tree biomass reconstructions},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0959683608100565},
  volume       = {19},
  year         = {2009},
}