Holocene fire regime changes from multiple-site sedimentary charcoal analyses in the Lourdes basin (Pyrenees, France)

Abstract : One lake and three peat bogs from the Lourdes glacial basin (France) were used for macrocharcoal analyses and fire frequency reconstruction over the entire Holocene (11700 years). The chronology was based upon thirty-three 14C AMS dates. Comparison of the distribution of both CHarcoal Accumulation Rate (CHAR) and fire return intervals showed that charcoal accumulation significantly differs between the lake and the peat bogs, but that frequency calculation overcomes the disparity between these site types. A composite frequency was built from the four individual records to assess regional versus local variability and fire regime controls by comparisons with regional fire activity, Holocene climatic oscillations and vegetation history. The millennial variability can be depicted as follows: relatively high frequency between 8000 and 5000 cal a BP (up to 5 fires/500 yrs), relatively low frequency between 5000 and 3000 cal a BP (down to 0 fires/500 yrs), and an increase between 3000 and 500 cal a BP (up to 4 fires/500 yrs). From 8000 to 5000 cal a BP, fire frequency displays strong synchrony between sites and appears to be mostly driven by increased summer temperature characterizing the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM). On the contrary, during the last 3000 years fire frequency was heterogeneous between sites and most probably human-driven. However, higher frequency at the millennial scale during the mid-Holocene strongly suggests that the perception of human-driven fire regime depends on the strength of natural controls.
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Damien Rius, Boris Vannière, Didier Galop, Hervé Richard. Holocene fire regime changes from multiple-site sedimentary charcoal analyses in the Lourdes basin (Pyrenees, France). Quaternary Science Reviews, Elsevier, 2011, 30 (13-14), pp.1696-1709. 〈10.1016/j.quascirev.2011.03.014〉. 〈hal-00649514〉

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