Project

Back to overview

Paleo-environmental and modeling insights into Mediterranean fire-vegetation interactions in response to Holocene climate and land use changes

English title Paleo-environmental and modeling insights into Mediterranean fire-vegetation interactions in response to Holocene climate and land use changes
Applicant Tinner Willy
Number 134616
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Pflanzenwissenschaften Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Start/End 01.12.2011 - 31.05.2015
Approved amount 663'315.00
Show all

All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Ecology
Environmental Research

Keywords (8)

Global Change; Climate Change; Vegetation; Environment; Fire; Prehistory; Holocene; Mediterranean

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Lay summary
Das SNF-Projekt "Paleo-environmental and modeling insights into Mediterranean fire-vegetation interactions in response to Holocene climate and land use changes" widmet sich der Frage wie sich Vegetation und Feuer im Mittelmeergebiet über Jahrtausende verändert haben. Dabei wird die Bedeutung der zwei wichtigsten bestimmenden Faktoren Klima und Mensch mituntersucht. Dazu wenden wir drei Gruppen von Ansätzen an, Sedimentuntersuchungen, Satelliten-Fernerkundung und dynamische Landschaftsmodelle.  Vegetation und Feuer werden mittels Sedimentanalysen von Pollen, grösseren Pflanzenresten und Holzkohle rekonstruiert. Die Fernerkundung ermöglicht über eine räumlich-zeitliche Eichung wichtige Brandparameter aus den Holzkohledaten abzuleiten (z.B. Brandflächen).  Andere Paläoindikatoren (z.B. Zuckmückenreste, Sauerstoffisotope) geben Auskunft über die vergangenen Klimaverhältnisse. Menschliche Tätigkeiten wie Anbau von Getreide und Weidewirtschaft werden über spezifische Pflanzenreste wie Getreidepollen untersucht. Diese Daten ermöglichen es, die langfristigen Wechselwirkungen zwischen Klima, Mensch, Feuer und Vegetation lückenlos zu untersuchen. Zudem können mit ihnen Simulationsresultate aus dem dynamischen Landschafts- und Vegetationsmodell LANDCLIM überprüft werden. Dadurch kann abgeschätzt werden, ob die  Landschafts- und Vegetationsmodelle realistische Resultate liefern. Schliesslich sollen die Simulationen quantitative Aussagen zur künftigen Entwicklung der Vegetation und der Feuerregimes in Süd- und Mitteleuropa unter den sich im 21. Jahrhundert  abzeichnenden klimatischen Veränderungen ermöglichen.                                               
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Past and future evolution of Abies alba forests in Europe - comparison of a dynamic vegetation model with palaeo data and observations
Ruosch Melanie, Spahni Renato, Joos Fortunat, Henne Paul D., van der Knaap Willem O., Tinner Willy (2016), Past and future evolution of Abies alba forests in Europe - comparison of a dynamic vegetation model with palaeo data and observations, in Global Change Biology, 22(2), 727-740.
Vegetation and fire history of coastal north-eastern Sardinia (Italy) under changing Holocene climates and land use
Beffa Giorgia, Pedrotta Tiziana, Colombaroli Daniele, Henne Paul D., van Leeuwen Jacqueline F. N., Suesstrunk Pascal, Kaltenrieder Petra, Adolf Carole, Vogel Hendrik, Pasta Salvatore, Anselmetti Flavio, Gobet Erika, Tinner Willy (2016), Vegetation and fire history of coastal north-eastern Sardinia (Italy) under changing Holocene climates and land use, in Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 25, 271-289.
Reviving extinct Mediterranean forests increases ecosystem potential in a warmer future
Henne Paul D., Elkin Che, Franke Joerg, Colombaroli D., Calo Camilla, La Mantia Tommaso, Pasta Salvatore, Conedera Marco, Dermody Orla, Tinner Willy (2015), Reviving extinct Mediterranean forests increases ecosystem potential in a warmer future, in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 13, 356-362.
Impacts of changing climate and land use on vegetation dynamics in a Mediterranean ecosystem: insights from paleoecology and dynamic modeling
Henne Paul D., Elkin Che´, Colombaroli Daniele, Samartin Stéphanie, Bugmann Harald, Heiri Oliver, Tinner Willy (2013), Impacts of changing climate and land use on vegetation dynamics in a Mediterranean ecosystem: insights from paleoecology and dynamic modeling, in Landscape Ecology, 28, 819-833.
The past ecology of Abies alba provides new perspectives on future responses of silver fir forests to global warming
Tinner Willy, Colombaroli Daniele, Heiri Oliver, Henne Paul D., Steinacher Marco, Untenecker Johanna, Vescovi Elisa, Allen J.R.M., Carraro Gabriele, Conedera Marco, Joos Fortunat, Lotter André F., Luterbacher Jürg, Samartin Stéphanie, Valsecchi Verushka (2013), The past ecology of Abies alba provides new perspectives on future responses of silver fir forests to global warming, in Ecological Monographs, 83, 419-443.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Dr. Sönke Szidat, Environmental Chemistry, University of Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Dr. Marco Conedera, WSL Bellinzona Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Dr. Aldo Marchetto, Istituto per lo Studio degli Ecosistemi (ISE), CNR, Verbania-Pallanza Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Dr. Michel Magny, Laboratoire de Chrono-Environnement, CNRS & Université de Franche Comté, Besançon France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Dr. B. Brandon Curry, Quaternary Geology Section, ISGS & University of Illinois (UIUC) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
114886 Long-term dynamics of Mediterranean vegetation in response to climatic change and disturbance: combining paleoecological and dynamic modelling approaches 01.03.2007 SNSF Professorships
182084 Exploring prehistoric vegetational and agricultural dynamics using annually laminated sediment records from Central and Southern Europe (ECSE) 01.02.2019 Project funding (Div. I-III)
157235 The role of changes in fire-regime, land use, and climate for species with small and isolated tree populations in Mediterranean mountains 01.08.2014 International short research visits
144960 XRF Core Scanner and digital radiography 01.01.2013 R'EQUIP
102272 Long-term fire and vegetation dynamics of Mediterranean ecosystems: a case study in the peri-Adriatic region 01.01.2004 Project funding (Div. I-III)
154450 Paleo fires from high-alpine ice cores 01.01.2015 Sinergia

Abstract

The Mediterranean area is one of the most fire-prone regions of the world. Wildfires inflict an annual toll in human life and property, with economic costs reaching billions of Euros. Ecological impacts are both immediate and long-lasting, with fire-triggered vegetational dynamics ranging in length from decades to centuries. The societal and ecological importance of forest fire is underscored by recent studies that concluded global warming is likely to induce more frequent fires. The increased fire occurrence will substantially contribute to vegetation changes. Understanding these complex environmental responses to global change requires long-term records. Such records are the only means to observe ecosystem response to large-magnitude environmental changes on decadal and longer time scales, and are also necessary to verify models capable of predicting future conditions. This project aims to develop the first contiguous, quantitative reconstructions of Holocene fire dynamics at local to regional scales from the central Mediterranean area. Our approach will apply recent breakthroughs in local fire reconstruction (e.g. fire-return interval estimates) to Mediterranean sedimentary series, and employ a novel technique (i.e., quantification of regional charcoal abundance in lake sediments with remote sensing data) to extend the science of quantitative fire reconstructions to a regional scale for the first time. Reconstructed fire dynamics will be compared with records of past climatic and vegetational change to assess fire-vegetation interactions in response to climate change. Our quantitative fire records will ultimately provide the means to validate a dynamic landscape vegetation model capable of simulating fire dynamics and disturbance impacts on vegetation under anticipated climatic conditions. The specific goals of this project are to:•Quantify the relationship between sediment charcoal abundance and regional fire regimes on the basis of remote sensing data and recent sediments from a network of 30 - 50 lakes spanning a wide gradient (from tundra to Mediterranean maquis) in Europe, and apply this relationship to charcoal reconstructions. •Reconstruct at high temporal resolution past climate-land use-fire-vegetation interactions at representative sites using a multiproxy approach including biotic (e.g. charcoal, pollen, macrofossils, chironomids, diatoms) and non-biotic (e.g. oxygen isotopic) sedimentary records of environmental change. •Simulate Holocene climate-land use-fire-vegetation- interactions with the LandClim dynamic forest landscape model, and validate model outputs with reconstructions from objectives 1 and 2. Input climatic data from regional climate models into LandClim to simulate future fire regimes under anticipated climatic scenarios. This project will provide the first high-resolution, spatially-explicit, long-term records of the interactions among climate, land use, vegetation type, and fire disturbance for the Mediterranean region. Such information is critical to formulating management strategies that protect ecological function (e.g., promote ecosystem diversity), but also limit the devastating impacts of Mediterranean wildfire. This project builds upon recent work demonstrating the existence during the Holocene of forest communities that are well-adapted to Mediterranean climatic conditions but rarely burned. Our new data will explore the existence of such communities under past and future conditions. Information about the interactions between Mediterranean vegetation types and wildfire is also increasingly important north of the Mediterranean basin, as these vegetation types are forecasted to expand into Central Europe, including Switzerland.
-