Modern relationships between microscopic charcoal in marine sediments and fire regimes on adjacent landmasses to refine the interpretation of marine paleofire records: An Iberian case study

Type Article
Date 2021-10
Language English
Author(s) Genet MarionORCID1, Daniau Anne-LaureORCID1, Mouillot FlorentORCID2, Hanquiez VincentORCID1, Schmidt SabineORCID1, David Valérie1, Georget Muriel1, Abrantes Fatima3, 4, Anschutz PierreORCID1, Bassinot FranckORCID5, Bonnin Jérome1, Dennielou BernardORCID6, Eynaud Frédérique1, Hodell David A.7, Mulder Thierry1, Naughton Filipa3, 4, Rossignol Linda1, Tzedakis PolychronisORCID8, Sánchez-Goñi Maria Fernanda1, 9
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ. Bordeaux, CNRS, EPOC, EPHE, UMR 5805, F-33615 Pessac, France
2 : UMR CEFE, Univ. Montpellier, CNRS, EPHE, IRD, Univ. Paul Valery Montpellier 3, 1919 route de Mende,34293, Montpellier, CEDEX 5, France
3 : Divisão de Geologia e Georecursos Marinhos, Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA), Avenida de Brasília 6, Lisboa, 1449-006, Portugal
4 : CCMAR, Centro de Ciências do Mar, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, Faro, 8005-139, Portugal
5 : Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Université Paris-Saclay, 91191, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
6 : Ifremer, Unité Géosciences Marines, Centre Bretagne - 29280, Plouzané, France
7 : University of Cambridge, Godwin Laboratory for Palaeoclimate Research, Cambridge, United Kingdom
8 : Environmental Change Research Centre, Department of Geography, University College London, London, WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom
9 : Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE, PSL University), F-33615, Pessac, France
Source Quaternary Science Reviews (0277-3791) (Elsevier BV), 2021-10 , Vol. 270 , P. 107148 (17p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.quascirev.2021.107148
WOS© Times Cited 7
Keyword(s) Microcharcoal, Marine surface sediments, Calibration, Iberian peninsula, Western europe, Fire regime, Climate, Vegetation, Holocene

Marine microcharcoal records provide invaluable information to understand changes in biomass burning and its drivers over multiple glacial and interglacial cycles and to evaluate fire models under warmer climates than today. However, quantitative reconstructions of burnt area, fire intensity and frequency from these records need calibration studies of the current fire-microcharcoal relationship. Here, we present the analysis of microcharcoal concentration and morphology in 102 core-top sediment samples collected in the Iberian margin and the Gulf of Cádiz. We show that microcharcoal concentrations are influenced by the water depth or the distance from the river mouth. At regional scale, the mean microcharcoal concentrations and microcharcoal elongation (length to width ratio) show a marked latitudinal variation in their distribution, primarily controlled by the type of burnt vegetation in the adjacent continent. High microcharcoal concentrations in marine sediments represent rare, large and intense fires in open Mediterranean woodlands. Based on these results, the increasing trend of microcharcoal concentrations recorded since 8 ka in the well-known marine sedimentary core MD95-2042 off the Iberian margin indicates the occurrence of large and infrequent fires of high intensity due to the progressive degradation of the Mediterranean forest and the expansion of shrublands.

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Genet Marion, Daniau Anne-Laure, Mouillot Florent, Hanquiez Vincent, Schmidt Sabine, David Valérie, Georget Muriel, Abrantes Fatima, Anschutz Pierre, Bassinot Franck, Bonnin Jérome, Dennielou Bernard, Eynaud Frédérique, Hodell David A., Mulder Thierry, Naughton Filipa, Rossignol Linda, Tzedakis Polychronis, Sánchez-Goñi Maria Fernanda (2021). Modern relationships between microscopic charcoal in marine sediments and fire regimes on adjacent landmasses to refine the interpretation of marine paleofire records: An Iberian case study. Quaternary Science Reviews, 270, 107148 (17p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :