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Widespread drying of European peatlands in recent centuries

Widespread drying of European peatlands in recent centuries
Widespread drying of European peatlands in recent centuries
Climate warming and human impacts are thought to be causing peatlands to become drier, potentially turning them from sinks to sources of carbon (C). However, it is unclear whether the hydrological status of peatlands has moved beyond their natural envelope. We use hydrological reconstructions to examine changes in wetness in European peatlands during the last 2000 years. Here we show that the majority of European peatlands have undergone substantial drying during the last ~300 years. We find that 60% of sites are drier in the period CE 1800-2000 than they have been for the last 600 years; 40% of sites are drier than they have been for 1000 years; and 24% of sites are drier than they have been for 2000 years. This marked recent transition in peatland hydrology is concurrent with compound pressures including climatic drying, warming and direct human impacts on peatlands, although these factors vary among regions and individual sites. Our results show that the hydrological status of many European peatlands is now substantially different from their natural baselines, and highlight the need for effective management and restoration.
1752-0894
922-928
Swindles, Graeme
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Sillasoo, Ülle
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Swindles, Graeme, Morris, Paul, Mullen, Donal, Payne, Richard, Roland, Thomas, Amesbury, Matthew, Lamentowicz, Mariusz, Turner, Edward, Gallego-Sala, Angela, Sim, Thomas, Barr, Iestyn, Blaauw, Maarten, Blundell, Antony, Chambers, Frank, Charman, Dan, Feurdean, Angelica, Galloway, Jennifer, Gałka, Mariusz, Green, Sophie, Kajukało, Katarzyna, Karofeld, Edgar, Korhola, Atte, Lamentowicz, Łukasz, Langdon, Peter, Marcisz, Katarzyna, Mauquoy, Dmitri, Mazei, Yuri, McKeown, Michelle, Mitchell, Edward, Novenko, Elena, Plunkett, Gill, Roe, Helen, Schoning, Kristian, Sillasoo, Ülle, Tsyganov, Andrey, van der Linden, Marjolein, Väliranta, Minna and Warner, Barry (2019) Widespread drying of European peatlands in recent centuries. Nature Geoscience, 12, 922-928. (doi:10.1038/s41561-019-0462-z).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Climate warming and human impacts are thought to be causing peatlands to become drier, potentially turning them from sinks to sources of carbon (C). However, it is unclear whether the hydrological status of peatlands has moved beyond their natural envelope. We use hydrological reconstructions to examine changes in wetness in European peatlands during the last 2000 years. Here we show that the majority of European peatlands have undergone substantial drying during the last ~300 years. We find that 60% of sites are drier in the period CE 1800-2000 than they have been for the last 600 years; 40% of sites are drier than they have been for 1000 years; and 24% of sites are drier than they have been for 2000 years. This marked recent transition in peatland hydrology is concurrent with compound pressures including climatic drying, warming and direct human impacts on peatlands, although these factors vary among regions and individual sites. Our results show that the hydrological status of many European peatlands is now substantially different from their natural baselines, and highlight the need for effective management and restoration.

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Accepted/In Press date: 3 September 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 21 October 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 435546
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/435546
ISSN: 1752-0894
PURE UUID: 564f0b50-4b10-4b79-9606-a3b491a4eac4
ORCID for Peter Langdon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2724-2643

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Nov 2019 17:30
Last modified: 22 Nov 2021 07:48

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Contributors

Author: Graeme Swindles
Author: Paul Morris
Author: Donal Mullen
Author: Richard Payne
Author: Thomas Roland
Author: Matthew Amesbury
Author: Mariusz Lamentowicz
Author: Edward Turner
Author: Angela Gallego-Sala
Author: Thomas Sim
Author: Iestyn Barr
Author: Maarten Blaauw
Author: Antony Blundell
Author: Frank Chambers
Author: Dan Charman
Author: Angelica Feurdean
Author: Jennifer Galloway
Author: Mariusz Gałka
Author: Sophie Green
Author: Katarzyna Kajukało
Author: Edgar Karofeld
Author: Atte Korhola
Author: Łukasz Lamentowicz
Author: Peter Langdon ORCID iD
Author: Katarzyna Marcisz
Author: Dmitri Mauquoy
Author: Yuri Mazei
Author: Michelle McKeown
Author: Edward Mitchell
Author: Elena Novenko
Author: Gill Plunkett
Author: Helen Roe
Author: Kristian Schoning
Author: Ülle Sillasoo
Author: Andrey Tsyganov
Author: Marjolein van der Linden
Author: Minna Väliranta
Author: Barry Warner

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