Peatlands - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780444528834, 9780080468051

Peatlands, Volume 9

1st Edition

Evolution and Records of Environmental and Climate Changes

Editors: I.P. Martini A. Martinez Cortizas W. Chesworth
eBook ISBN: 9780080468051
Hardcover ISBN: 9780444528834
Imprint: Elsevier Science
Published Date: 4th December 2006
Page Count: 606
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Table of Contents

Contents Preface List of COntributors List of Reviewers Chapter 1: Peatlands: a concise guide to to volume (I.P. Martini, A. Martinez Cortizas, W. Chesworth). A. Peatland basin analysis: Evolution and structure Chapter 2: Northern peatlands: their characteristics, development and sensitivity to climate change (C. Tarnocai, V. Stolbovoy). Introduction Area and extent Peatland regions Canada Russia Peatland classification Canada Finland Russia Peat materials Peat developments Age of peat deposits Peat accumulation Carbon stocks Sensitivity to climate change Canada Northern Eurasia References Chapter 3. The cold-climate peatlands of the Hudson Bay Lowland, Canada: Brief review of recent work. (I.P. Martini) Introduction Peatland evolution Peat stratigraphy Palynology Organic mineralogy Peat Pb chemistry Peatlands and the carbon cycle Resources References Chapter 4: Mountain mires from Galicia (NW Spain) (X. Pontevedra-Pombal, J.C. Novoa-Munoz, E. Garcia-Rodeja, A. Martinez Cortizas) Introduction Mires development Distribution of biogeographical conditions Typology Chronology Growth and accumulation rates Composition and properties Classification Galicia mires: geochemical archives of environmental changes Conclusions References Chapter 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 work Methodology Results Geomorphologic aspects Vegetation and floristic diversity aspects Relationships between geomorphology and vegetation Conclusions References Chapter 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) Introduction Geographical setting Methodology for peatlands studies Glacial history of Tierra del Fuego and basal peat chronostratigraphic data Peat accumulation rates The occurrence of Holocene tephras in Fuegian peatlands Coastal wetlands Climatic variability as demonstrated by proxy elements Pleistocene pollen records Holocene pollen records Dendrochonology Bogs and archaeology Final comments References Chapter 7. Lowland tropical peatlands of Southeast Asia (S.E. Page, J.O. Rieley, R Wüst) Introduction History, location and extent of lowland tropical peatlands in Southeast Asia Structure and hydrology of lowland tropical peatlands Classification and genesis Coastal peatlands Basin or valley peatlands High, interior, or watershed peatlands Physical and chemical characteristics of lowland tropical peat Vegetation and biodiversity Biomass and nutrient dynamics The geochemical record Age and rates of peat and carbon accumulation The role of tropical peatlands in the global carbon cycle Modern tropical peatlands and past coal deposits Future prospects for tropical peatlands: the wise use approach References B Selected characteristics of peat and peatland environments (W. Chesworth, A. Martinez Contizas, E. Garcia-Rodeja) Introduction Physico-chemical background Predominance fields Geochemical fences The pedogenic grid Geochemical trends in the weathering zone Proton and electron pumps The peatland environment Ombrotrophic mires Minerotropic mires Discussion Conclusion References Chapter 9. Weathering of inorganic matter in peat bogs (G. Le Roux, W. Shotyk) Introduction Characterization of the weathering milieu Botanical composition and climate Bog water chemistry Geological substrate Distribution and supply of inorganic compounds in bog profile Preparation of peat samples for mineral identification Inorganic constituents supplied by atmospheric deposition Mechanisms and rates of weathering Reductive dissolution Proton-promoted dissolution Organic acids promoted dissolution Rates of weathering Special case: carbonate-dissolution Perspectives Microorganisms Weathering rate and mass balance Pb and Sr Isotopes tracers of dust sources and mineral weathering Conclusions References Chapter 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 COrtizas Introduction Materials and methods Extraction of humus Pyrolysis gas chromatography – Mass Spectrometry Principal component analysis Results and discussion Conclusions Future research References Chapter 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) Introduction Methods Sampling Laboratory analyses Results and discussion Mineral matter Detrital minerals Authigenic minerals Major and trace elements in –peat Summary and final remarks References Chapter 12. Consequences of increasing levels of atmospheric nitrogen deposition on ombrotrophic peatlands: a plant-based perspective (L. Bragazza) Introduction Effects of increasing N Input: the plant species level Mosses Vascular plants Effects of increasing N input: the community level Gas fluxes Inter-specific competitive relationships Peat accumulation and peat decomposition Conclusions References Chapter 13. Microbial diversity in Sphagnum peatlands (D. Gilbert, E.A. D. Mitchell) Introduction Microbial 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 groups Functional importance of microbial communities in peatland Heterotrophic activities: organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling Microbial primary production The microbial loop Transfer to higher trophic levels Practical applications Biomonitoring Paleoecology Open research questions References Chapter 14. Peatland hydrology (J. Holden) Introduction Water sources and water budget for peatlands Inputs Stores Losses Introduction to hillslope hydrology The acrotelm-catotelm model Runoff processes within peatlands Matrix and overland flow Preferential flow Conclusions References Chapter 15. Hydrogeology of major peat basins in North America (P. Glaser, D.S. Siegel, A.S. Reeve, J. Chanton). Introduction Central problems Study areas Properties of large peat basins in North America Physiographic setting Genesis of the peat basins Peat landform patterns Hydrological models for large peat basins Hydrogeological 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 basins Problems, prospects and future directions Conclusions References Chapter 16. Slope instability and mass movements in peat (A.P. Dykes, K.J. Kirk) Introduction Failures types Causes of instability in peatlands Anthropogenic causes Peat properties Failure mechanisms Case example of blanket blog instability: Cuilcagh Mountain, Ireland Future research directions References C Peatlands as multi-signal archives of environmental changes Chapter 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). Introduction The 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 bogs Experimental archaeology and peatland research Conclusions References Chapter 18. Beyond the peat: synthesizing peat, lake sediments and soils in studies of the Swedish environment (R. Bindler, J. Klaminder) Introduction Combining peat and lake sediment records Properties of peat and lake sediments Improving chronologies of the peat record (using lake sediments) Reconstructing regional long-term changes in deposition Using 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 soils Conclusions References Chapter 19. Occurrence and fate of halogens in mires (H. Biester, A. Martinez Cortizas, F. Keppler) Introduction Sources of halogens in peatlands Halogens in peat Net accumulation and retention rates of halogens Halogen accumulation and peat accumulation Halogens in peat porewaters Release of halogens from peat Conclusions References Chapter 20. Mercury in mires (H. Biester, R. Bindler, A. Martinez Cortizas) Introduction Atmospheric deposition and retention of mercury Mercury concentrations in peat Mercury concentrations and peat decomposition Mercury accumulation rates Mercury accumulation rates and influence of peat diagenesis Hg accumulation and climate variation Outlook References Chapter 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) Introduction Lead from a geological perspective Geochemical 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 Spain The 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 directions References D Direct human impact on peatlands Chapter 22. Impacts of artificial drainage of peatlands on runoff production and water quality (J. Holden, P.J. Chapman, S.N. Lane and C. Brookes) Introduction History and extent of drainage Impact of peat drainage on catchment hydrology Impact of peat drainage on soil properties Hydrological implications Chemical implications Impact of peat drainage on water chemistry Impacts of peat drainage on erosion Peatland 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 trajectories Conclusions References Chapter 23. Peatland subsidence in the Venice watershed (M. Camporese, G. Gambolati, M. Putti, P. Teatini) Introduction Peat oxidation and geochemical land subsidence Description of the study area Field measurements and model setup Environmental variables CO2 fluxes Detailed model of peat swelling/shrinking Stephens et al (1984) model of peatland subsidence Results Hydrology Recoverable peatland displacements Unrecoverable peatland subsidence Conclusions References Glossary Index


'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.'

Key Features

  • Presents an interdisciplinary approach, with an emphasis on Earth Science, and addresses the need for intergration between subdisciplines and the developing of new approaches
  • Synthesizes the evolutionary, ecological, and chemical characteristics of major peatlands, as well as focuses on the environmental changes, from climate changes to surface ares changes due to human activities
  • Covers topical studies of worldwide interest and provides examples from many different countries


Researchers and graduate and post graduates in biology, earth science, geography, environmental engineering, landuse planning, environmental impact studies, and global change


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About the Editors

I.P. Martini Editor

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada

A. Martinez Cortizas Editor

Affiliations and Expertise

Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

W. Chesworth Editor

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada