Evolution and Records of Environmental and Climate Changes

Edited by

  • I.P. Martini, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada
  • A. Martinez Cortizas, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain
  • W. Chesworth, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada

'In the past two decades there has been considerable work on global climatic change and its effect on the ecosphere, as well as on local and global environmental changes triggered by human activities. From the tropics to the Arctic, peatlands have developed under various geological conditions, and they provide good records of global and local changes since the Late Pleistocene.The objectives of the book are to analyze topics such as geological evolution of major peatlands basins; peatlands as self sustaining ecosystems; chemical environment of peatlands: water and peat chemistry; peatlands as archives of environmental changes; influence of peatlands on atmosphere: circular complex interactions; remote sensing studies of peatlands; peatlands as a resource; peatlands degradation, restoration, plus more.'
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Researchers and graduate and post graduates in biology, earth science, geography, environmental engineering, landuse planning, environmental impact studies, and global change


Book information

  • Published: December 2006
  • Imprint: ELSEVIER
  • ISBN: 978-0-444-52883-4

Table of Contents

ContentsPrefaceList of COntributorsList of ReviewersChapter 1: Peatlands: a concise guide to to volume (I.P. Martini, A. Martinez Cortizas, W. Chesworth).A. Peatland basin analysis: Evolution and structureChapter 2: Northern peatlands: their characteristics, development and sensitivity to climate change (C. Tarnocai, V. Stolbovoy).IntroductionArea and extentPeatland regions Canada RussiaPeatland classification Canada Finland RussiaPeat materialsPeat developmentsAge of peat depositsPeat accumulationCarbon stocksSensitivity to climate change Canada Northern EurasiaReferencesChapter 3. The cold-climate peatlands of the Hudson Bay Lowland, Canada: Brief review of recent work. (I.P. Martini)IntroductionPeatland evolutionPeat stratigraphy Palynology Organic mineralogyPeat Pb chemistryPeatlands and the carbon cycleResourcesReferencesChapter 4: Mountain mires from Galicia (NW Spain) (X. Pontevedra-Pombal, J.C. Novoa-Munoz, E. Garcia-Rodeja, A. Martinez Cortizas)IntroductionMires development Distribution of biogeographical conditions Typology Chronology Growth and accumulation ratesComposition and properties ClassificationGalicia mires: geochemical archives of environmental changesConclusionsReferencesChapter 5: Geomorphological emplacement and vegetation characteristics of Fuegian peatlands, southernmost Argentina, South America (A. Coronato, C. Roig, L. Collado, F. Roig).Introduction Physical setting Previous workMethodologyResults Geomorphologic aspects Vegetation and floristic diversity aspectsRelationships between geomorphology and vegetationConclusionsReferencesChapter 6: The peatlands of Argentine Tierra del Fuego as a source of paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental information (J. Rabassa, A. Coronato, C.J. Heusser, F. Roig Junent, A. Borromei, M. Quattrocchio)IntroductionGeographical settingMethodology for peatlands studiesGlacial history of Tierra del Fuego and basal peat chronostratigraphic dataPeat accumulation ratesThe occurrence of Holocene tephras in Fuegian peatlandsCoastal wetlandsClimatic variability as demonstrated by proxy elements Pleistocene pollen records Holocene pollen recordsDendrochonologyBogs and archaeologyFinal commentsReferencesChapter 7. Lowland tropical peatlands of Southeast Asia (S.E. Page, J.O. Rieley, R Wüst)IntroductionHistory, location and extent of lowland tropical peatlands in Southeast AsiaStructure and hydrology of lowland tropical peatlandsClassification and genesis Coastal peatlands Basin or valley peatlands High, interior, or watershed peatlandsPhysical and chemical characteristics of lowland tropical peatVegetation and biodiversityBiomass and nutrient dynamicsThe geochemical recordAge and rates of peat and carbon accumulationThe role of tropical peatlands in the global carbon cycleModern tropical peatlands and past coal depositsFuture prospects for tropical peatlands: the wise use approachReferencesB Selected characteristics of peat and peatland environments (W. Chesworth, A. Martinez Contizas, E. Garcia-Rodeja)IntroductionPhysico-chemical backgroundPredominance fieldsGeochemical fencesThe pedogenic gridGeochemical trends in the weathering zone Proton and electron pumpsThe peatland environment Ombrotrophic mires Minerotropic miresDiscussionConclusionReferencesChapter 9. Weathering of inorganic matter in peat bogs (G. Le Roux, W. Shotyk)IntroductionCharacterization of the weathering milieu Botanical composition and climate Bog water chemistry Geological substrateDistribution and supply of inorganic compounds in bog profile Preparation of peat samples for mineral identification Inorganic constituents supplied by atmospheric depositionMechanisms and rates of weathering Reductive dissolution Proton-promoted dissolution Organic acids promoted dissolution Rates of weathering Special case: carbonate-dissolutionPerspectives Microorganisms Weathering rate and mass balance Pb and Sr Isotopes tracers of dust sources and mineral weatheringConclusionsReferencesChapter 10 Molecular chemistry by pyrolysis-GC/MS of selected samples of the Penido Vello peat deposit, Galicia, NW Spain (P. Buurman, K.G.J. Nierop, .X. Pontevedra-Pombal, A. Martinez COrtizasIntroductionMaterials and methods Extraction of humus Pyrolysis gas chromatography – Mass Spectrometry Principal component analysisResults and discussionConclusionsFuture researchReferencesChapter 11. Mineral matter and major and trace elements in raised bog peat. A case study from southern Sweden, Ireland and Tierra del Fuego, south Argentina (L.G. Franzen)IntroductionMethods Sampling Laboratory analysesResults and discussion Mineral matter Detrital minerals Authigenic minerals Major and trace elements in –peatSummary and final remarksReferencesChapter 12. Consequences of increasing levels of atmospheric nitrogen deposition on ombrotrophic peatlands: a plant-based perspective (L. Bragazza)IntroductionEffects of increasing N Input: the plant species level Mosses Vascular plantsEffects of increasing N input: the community level Gas fluxes Inter-specific competitive relationships Peat accumulation and peat decompositionConclusionsReferencesChapter 13. Microbial diversity in Sphagnum peatlands (D. Gilbert, E.A. D. Mitchell)IntroductionMicrobial diversity in peatlands Overviewing of the sampling, observation and biomass estimation methods Sampling and fixation Observation and counting Biomass evaluation Individual groups: diversity, abudance, biomass Prokaryotes Fungi Microalgae Heterotrophic protests Micrometazoa Total microbial biomass and relative importance of the different groupsFunctional importance of microbial communities in peatland Heterotrophic activities: organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling Microbial primary production The microbial loop Transfer to higher trophic levelsPractical applications Biomonitoring PaleoecologyOpen research questionsReferencesChapter 14. Peatland hydrology (J. Holden)IntroductionWater sources and water budget for peatlands Inputs Stores LossesIntroduction to hillslope hydrologyThe acrotelm-catotelm modelRunoff processes within peatlands Matrix and overland flow Preferential flowConclusionsReferencesChapter 15. Hydrogeology of major peat basins in North America (P. Glaser, D.S. Siegel, A.S. Reeve, J. Chanton).Introduction Central problems Study areasProperties of large peat basins in North America Physiographic setting Genesis of the peat basins Peat landform patterns Hydrological models for large peat basinsHydrogeological investigations in large North American peat basins Peatland hydrology in an isostatically rising landscape Response of peatland flow systems to climatic thresholds Biogeochemical drivers for groundwater flow in large peat basinsProblems, prospects and future directionsConclusionsReferencesChapter 16. Slope instability and mass movements in peat (A.P. Dykes, K.J. Kirk)IntroductionFailures typesCauses of instability in peatlands Anthropogenic causesPeat propertiesFailure mechanismsCase example of blanket blog instability: Cuilcagh Mountain, IrelandFuture research directionsReferencesC Peatlands as multi-signal archives of environmental changesChapter 17. Using peat bog archives to reconstruct paleo-pollution and vegetation change during the late Holocene (T.M. Mighall, S. Timberlake, D.A. Jenkins, J.P. Grattan).IntroductionThe metallurgical industry as an agent of vegetation change Vegetation change during prehistory Vegetation change during Roman and historical times Paleopollution, mining and metalworking: records from bogsExperimental archaeology and peatland researchConclusionsReferencesChapter 18. Beyond the peat: synthesizing peat, lake sediments and soils in studies of the Swedish environment (R. Bindler, J. Klaminder)IntroductionCombining peat and lake sediment recordsProperties of peat and lake sediments Improving chronologies of the peat record (using lake sediments) Reconstructing regional long-term changes in depositionUsing the peat record to determine the fate of lead in the Swedish environment The example: background levels of lead in the organic horizon of boreal forest soilsConclusionsReferencesChapter 19. Occurrence and fate of halogens in mires (H. Biester, A. Martinez Cortizas, F. Keppler)IntroductionSources of halogens in peatlandsHalogens in peatNet accumulation and retention rates of halogensHalogen accumulation and peat accumulationHalogens in peat porewatersRelease of halogens from peatConclusionsReferencesChapter 20. Mercury in mires (H. Biester, R. Bindler, A. Martinez Cortizas)IntroductionAtmospheric deposition and retention of mercuryMercury concentrations in peatMercury concentrations and peat decompositionMercury accumulation ratesMercury accumulation rates and influence of peat diagenesisHg accumulation and climate variationOutlookReferencesChapter 21. Archiving natural and anthropogenic lead deposition in peatlands (M.E. Kylander, D.J. Weiss, E. Peiteado Varela, T. Taboada Rodriguez and A. Martinez COrtizas)IntroductionLead from a geological perspectiveGeochemical tools and interpretation Lead isotopes – powerful tracers and proxies Lead isotope geochemistry Applications of lead isotopes Enrichment Factors (EF) – gauging the magnitude The Swiss experience Some examples from north-western SpainThe lead story told in peatlands The pre-anthropogenic period (< 3000 years BP) The ancient period (3000-1600 years BP) The pre-industrial period (1600-200 years BP) The industrial period (200-30 years BP) Recent times (30 years BP to present)Final thoughts and future directionsReferencesD Direct human impact on peatlandsChapter 22. Impacts of artificial drainage of peatlands on runoff production and water quality (J. Holden, P.J. Chapman, S.N. Lane and C. Brookes)IntroductionHistory and extent of drainageImpact of peat drainage on catchment hydrologyImpact of peat drainage on soil properties Hydrological implications Chemical implicationsImpact of peat drainage on water chemistryImpacts of peat drainage on erosionPeatland restoration and the utility of field and modelling approaches Water table and vegetation recolonization Modeling approaches Ditch blocking techniques Thresholds of recovery and non-reversible trajectoriesConclusionsReferencesChapter 23. Peatland subsidence in the Venice watershed (M. Camporese, G. Gambolati, M. Putti, P. Teatini)IntroductionPeat oxidation and geochemical land subsidenceDescription of the study areaField measurements and model setup Environmental variables CO2 fluxes Detailed model of peat swelling/shrinking Stephens et al (1984) model of peatland subsidenceResults Hydrology Recoverable peatland displacements Unrecoverable peatland subsidenceConclusionsReferencesGlossaryIndex