High Latitude Peat Deposits in Canada and Russia as Climate Archives

Päivi Kaislahti Tillman, Steffen Holzkämper, Thorbjoern Joest Andersen, Gustaf Hugelius, Peter Kuhry and Britta Sannel

Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress


climate, macrofossil, sphagnum-fuscum, stable-isotopes, subarctic

Kaislahti-Tillman et al 2012: High Latitude Peat Deposits in Canada and Russia as Climate Archives


Theme I.  Inventory, stratigraphy and conservation of mires and peatlands


Stable isotopes derived from peat archives are relatively new proxies for palaeoclimate variation. We have studied subarctic climate variability from peat archives in Canada and Russia by stable carbon and oxygen isotopes in α-cellulose isolated from stems of a single species, Sphagnum fuscum. Isotope ratios vary depending on source values and climatically controlled isotope fractionation during photosynthesis and evaporation. The climate reconstruction was supported by plant macrofossil and humification analyses and extensive dating by 210Pb and AMS 14C. Modern values were calibrated against meteorological observations in the studied regions. Our results confirm the potential of stable carbon and oxygen isotope ratios derived from single moss species for climate reconstruction and quantification of temperature variation.