Climate and peatlands

Rixt de Jong, Maarten Blaauw, Frank M Chambers, Torben R Christensen, Francois de Vleeschouwer, Walter Finsinger, Stefan Fronzek, Margareta Johansson, Ulla Kokfelt, Mariusz Lamentowicz, Gael Le Roux, Dmitri Mauquoy, Edward A D Mitchell, Jonathan E Nichols, Emanuela Samaritani, Bas van Geel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

45 Citations (Scopus)


Peatlands are an important natural archive for past climatic changes, primarily due to their sensitivity to changes in the water balance and the dating possibilities of peat sediments. In addition, peatlands are an important sink as well as potential source of greenhouse gases. The first part of this chapter discusses a range of well-established and novel proxies studied in peat cores (peat humification, macrofossils, testate amoebae, stomatal records from subfossil leaves, organic biomarkers and stable isotope ratios, aeolian sediment influx and geochemistry) that are used for climatic and environmental reconstructions, as well as recent developments in the dating of these sediments. The second part focuses on the role that peatland ecosystems may play as a source or sink of greenhouse gases. Emphasis is placed on the past and future development of peatlands in the discontinuous permafrost areas of northern Scandinavia, and the role of regenerating mined peatlands in north-western Europe as a carbon sink or source.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChanging Climates, Earth Systems and Society
EditorsJohn Dodson
Place of PublicationDordrecht
Number of pages37
ISBN (Electronic) 978-90-481-8716-4
ISBN (Print)978-90-481-8715-7
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2010

Publication series

NameInternational Year of Planet Earth


  • bog surface wetness variations
  • C-14 dating
  • plants' responses to CO2
  • stable isotopes
  • methane emissions from peatlands
  • palsas


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