By the same authors

From the same journal

Widespread drying of European peatlands in recent centuries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Full text download(s)

Published copy (DOI)

Author(s)

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

Department/unit(s)

Publication details

JournalNature Geoscience
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Sep 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 21 Oct 2019
Volume12
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)922-928
Early online date21/10/19
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Climate warming and human impacts are thought to be causing peatlands to dry, potentially converting them from sinks to sources of carbon. However, it is unclear whether the hydrological status of peatlands has moved beyond their natural envelope. Here we show that European peatlands have undergone substantial, widespread drying during the last ~300 years. We analyse testate amoeba-derived hydrological reconstructions from 31 peatlands across Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and Continental Europe to examine changes in peatland surface wetness during the last 2,000 years. We find that 60% of our study sites were drier during the period 1800–2000 ce than they have been for the last 600 years, 40% of sites were drier than they have been for 1,000 years and 24% of sites were drier than they have been for 2,000 years. This marked recent transition in the hydrology of European peatlands 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 suggest that the wetness of many European peatlands may now be moving away from natural baselines. Our findings highlight the need for effective management and restoration of European peatlands.

Bibliographical note

© Crown 2019. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

Discover related content

Find related publications, people, projects, datasets and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations