Peat initiation in the Faroe Islands : climate change, pedogenesis or human impact?
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As an isolated island group lying off the NW. European mainland which was uninhabited until the mid-first millennium AD, the Farces offer a unique opportunity to study natural processes of Holocene ecosystem development in a region where anthropogenic activity is usually a complicating factor. In this paper new radiocarbon dates and pollen-analytical data from the island of Sandoy, in the centre of the Farces archipelago, are presented. Together with existing pollen and plant macrofossil records, these data allow a reconstruction of patterns of Holocene vegetational and edaphic change. Basal peat dates indicate that large areas of blanket mire were established long before the first human settlement, demonstrating conclusively that human impact is not necessary for the development of such ecosystems. The timing of the initiation of the blanket peats varies markedly, both across the Faroes as a whole and at a landscape scale, with dates distributed evenly over 9000 years. This suggests that, in the Faroes at least, pedogenesis was more important than climatic change in determining the timing of the spread of blanket peat systems.
Lawson , I T , Church , M J , Edwards , K J , Cook , G T & Dugmore , A J 2007 , ' Peat initiation in the Faroe Islands : climate change, pedogenesis or human impact? ' Earth and Environmental Science Transactions Of The Royal Society Of Edinburgh , vol. 98 , no. 1 , pp. 15-28 . DOI: 10.1017/S1755691007000035
Earth and Environmental Science Transactions Of The Royal Society Of Edinburgh
Copyright © Royal Society of Edinburgh 2007. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1755691007000035
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