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Holocene history of fire, vegetation and land use from the central Pyrenees (France)

  • Damien Rius (a1) (a2), Boris Vanniére (a1) and Didier Galop (a2)


Located on a mountain pass in the west-central Pyrenees, the Col d'Ech peat bog provides a Holocene fire and vegetation record based upon nine 14C (AMS) dates. We aim to compare climate-driven versus human-driven fire regimes in terms of frequency, fire episodes distribution, and impact on vegetation. Our results show the mid-Holocene (8500–5500 cal yr BP) to be characterized by high fire frequency linked with drier and warmer conditions. However, fire occurrences appear to have been rather stochastic as underlined by a scattered chronological distribution. Wetter and colder conditions at the mid-to-late Holocene transition (4000–3000 cal yr BP) led to a decrease in fire frequency, probably driven by both climate and a subsequent reduction in human land use. On the contrary, from 3000 cal yr BP, fire frequency seems to be driven by agro-pastoral activities with a very regular distribution of events. During this period fire was used as a prominent agent of landscape management.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author at: Laboratoire Chrono-Environnement, UMR 6249 CNRS, Université de Franche-Comté, UFR ST, 16 route de Gray, 25030 Besançon, France. E-mail address: (D. Rius).


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Holocene history of fire, vegetation and land use from the central Pyrenees (France)

  • Damien Rius (a1) (a2), Boris Vanniére (a1) and Didier Galop (a2)


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