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A multi-proxy record of Holocene environmental change, peatland development and carbon accumulation from Staroselsky Moch peatland, Russia

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Author(s)

  • Richard J. Payne
  • Elena Malysheva
  • Andrey Tsyganov
  • Tatjana Pampura
  • Elena Novenko
  • Elena Volkova
  • Kirill Babeshko
  • Yuri Mazei

Department/unit(s)

Publication details

JournalThe Holocene
DateAccepted/In press - 10 Jul 2015
DatePublished (current) - 1 Feb 2016
Issue number2
Volume26
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)314-326
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Despite their huge extent, the peatlands of Russia are an under-exploited source of data on palaeoenvironmental change. We investigated the Holocene history of Staroselsky Moch, an ombrotrophic peatland in the Tver Region of European Russia by analysis of testate amoebae, peat physical properties, plant macrofossils and pollen. The peatland developed through a classic hydroseral succession in the early Holocene with a sharp decline in mineral input to 6200 cal. BC followed by an abrupt transition from fen to bog vegetation around 5500 cal. BC. Through the Holocene, the peatland has accumulated carbon at a mean apparent rate of 21.5 g C m−2 yr−1 suggesting that carbon accumulation rates in peatlands of European Russia lie close to the global average, and contrasting with a short sequence of eddy-covariance data which implies a net loss of carbon. The testate amoeba record shows considerable variability which may be driven by climate, but changes are not well replicated in the macrofossil or pollen data. We tentatively infer (1) a phase of early Holocene warming commencing around 7200 cal. BC, (2) dry peatland surface conditions c. 3700–3900 cal. BC, (3) a shift to wetter conditions from c. 3900 cal. BC, and (4) drier conditions from c. 400 cal. BC onwards. More robust and precise hydroclimatic reconstructions for this region will require the development of a regional transfer function and the replication of results between cores and sites.

    Research areas

  • bog, carbon, fen, Holocene, palaeoclimate, palaeoecology, peatland

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