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Spatiotemporal evolution of paludification associated with autogenic and allogenic factors in the black spruce–moss boreal forest of Québec, Canada

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 January 2019


Éloïse Le Stum-Boivin
Affiliation:
Department of Geography, Université du Québec à Montréal, Pavillon Hubert Aquin, 1255 St-Denis, Montréal, Québec H2X 3R9, Canada GEOTOP Research Center, Université du Québec à Montréal, 201 Avenue Président-Kennedy, Montréal, Québec H2X 3Y7, Canada
Gabriel Magnan
Affiliation:
GEOTOP Research Center, Université du Québec à Montréal, 201 Avenue Président-Kennedy, Montréal, Québec H2X 3Y7, Canada
Michelle Garneau
Affiliation:
Department of Geography, Université du Québec à Montréal, Pavillon Hubert Aquin, 1255 St-Denis, Montréal, Québec H2X 3R9, Canada GEOTOP Research Center, Université du Québec à Montréal, 201 Avenue Président-Kennedy, Montréal, Québec H2X 3Y7, Canada
Nicole J. Fenton
Affiliation:
Institut de Recherche sur les Forêts, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Campus de Rouyn-Noranda, 445 boul. de l’Université Rouyn-Noranda, Québec J9X 5E4, Canada
Pierre Grondin
Affiliation:
Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs, Direction de la recherche forestière, 2700 rue Einstein, Québec G1P 3W8, Canada
Yves Bergeron
Affiliation:
Institut de Recherche sur les Forêts, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Campus de Rouyn-Noranda, 445 boul. de l’Université Rouyn-Noranda, Québec J9X 5E4, Canada Department of Biological Science, Université du Québec à Montréal, Pavillon des Sciences Biologiques, 141 av. du Président-Kennedy, Québec H2X 3Y7, Canada
Corresponding

Abstract

Paludification is the most common process of peatland formation in boreal regions. In this study, we investigated the autogenic (e.g., topography) and allogenic (fire and climate) factors triggering paludification in different geomorphological contexts (glaciolacustrine silty-clayey and fluvioglacial deposits) within the Québec black spruce (Picea mariana)–moss boreal forest. Paleoecological analyses were conducted along three toposequences varying from a forest on mineral soil to forested and semi-open peatlands. Plant macrofossil and charcoal analyses were performed on basal peat sections (≤50 cm) and thick forest humus (<40 cm) to reconstruct local vegetation dynamics and fire history involved in the paludification process. Results show that primary paludification started in small topographic depressions after land emergence ca. 8000 cal yr BP within rich fens. Lateral peatland expansion and secondary paludification into adjacent forests occurred between ca. 5100 and 2300 cal yr BP and resulted from low-severity fires during a climatic deterioration. Fires that reduced or eliminated entirely the organic layer promoted the establishment of Sphagnum in microdepressions. Paludification resulted in the decline of some coniferous species such as Abies balsamea and Pinus banksiana. The paleoecological approach along toposequences allowed us to understand the spatiotemporal dynamics of paludification and its impacts on the vegetation dynamics over the Holocene.


Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © University of Washington. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2019 

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Spatiotemporal evolution of paludification associated with autogenic and allogenic factors in the black spruce–moss boreal forest of Québec, Canada
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Spatiotemporal evolution of paludification associated with autogenic and allogenic factors in the black spruce–moss boreal forest of Québec, Canada
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Spatiotemporal evolution of paludification associated with autogenic and allogenic factors in the black spruce–moss boreal forest of Québec, Canada
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