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From Climatic to Anthropogenic Drivers: A Multi-Proxy Reconstruction of Vegetation and Peatland Development in the French Jura Mountains

Abstract : A 4 m core was extracted from the center of a peatland located in the Drugeon valley (France). Thirteen radiocarbon dates were used to build a robust age model. Testate amoebae were used for reconstructing mire surface wetness. High-resolution pollen analysis of the sequence reconstructed 9 millennia of development of the peatland and its surrounding vegetation. During the early/middle Holocene (9500 to 5800 cal BP), warm conditions led to high evapotranspiration and low water levels. The vegetation history is characterized by the development of a Pinus and a mixed Quercus forest. From 5800 cal BP, testate amoebae show wetter conditions, indicating the onset of the cooler Neoglacial period. The cooling is also evidenced by the development of Abies and Fagus trees, replacing the oak forest. The first indicators of human impact appear at about 4800 cal BP, and indicators of farming activity remains very rare until ca. 2600 cal BP, at the beginning of the Iron Age. The development of the peatland responded to climatic fluctuation until 2600 cal BP, after which human impact became the main driver. The last millennium has been characterized by sudden drying and the spread of pine on the peatland.
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Emilie Gauthier, Vincent E.J. Jassey, Edward A.D. Mitchell, Mariusz Lamentowicz, Richard Payne, et al.. From Climatic to Anthropogenic Drivers: A Multi-Proxy Reconstruction of Vegetation and Peatland Development in the French Jura Mountains. Quaternary, MDPI, 2019, 2 (4), 13 p. ⟨10.3390/quat2040038⟩. ⟨insu-02415346⟩

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