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Forest fire dynamics during the early and middle Holocene along the southern North Sea basin as shown by charcoal evidence from burnt ant nests

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Abstract
Based on a dataset of 434 radiocarbon dates and charcoal data from burnt abandoned ant nests which were formerly interpreted as Mesolithic hearth-pits, the correlation between short periods of abrupt climatic cooling and increased forest fires during the early and middle Holocene is studied. Despite dating calibration limits, the results indicate a clear synchronicity between the 9.3 ka event and widespread and repeated forest fires which occurred in a coniferous woodland environment dominated by Pinus sylvestris (pine). It is argued that the cold and dry climatic conditions resulted in an overall desiccation of pines, which became prone to wildfires. A similar correlation is tentatively suggested for the 8.2 ka event, though changing climate first affected vegetation by reintroducing pines followed by increased wildfires. Indications of forest fires possibly caused by humans only appear around 6,400/6,200 uncal bp, corresponding to the final stage of hunter-gatherers along the southern North Sea basin.
Keywords
ENVIRONMENTAL-CHANGE, ABRUPT CLIMATE-CHANGE, EVENT STRATIGRAPHY, VEGETATION, BELGIUM, NETHERLANDS, VARIABILITY, RESPONSES, RECORDS, EUROPE, Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, Wildfires, Charcoal, Radiocarbon dating, Climate change, Vegetation change

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Citation

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Chicago
Crombé, Philippe. 2016. “Forest Fire Dynamics During the Early and Middle Holocene Along the Southern North Sea Basin as Shown by Charcoal Evidence from Burnt Ant Nests.” Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 25 (4): 311–321.
APA
Crombé, Philippe. (2016). Forest fire dynamics during the early and middle Holocene along the southern North Sea basin as shown by charcoal evidence from burnt ant nests. VEGETATION HISTORY AND ARCHAEOBOTANY, 25(4), 311–321.
Vancouver
1.
Crombé P. Forest fire dynamics during the early and middle Holocene along the southern North Sea basin as shown by charcoal evidence from burnt ant nests. VEGETATION HISTORY AND ARCHAEOBOTANY. 2016;25(4):311–21.
MLA
Crombé, Philippe. “Forest Fire Dynamics During the Early and Middle Holocene Along the Southern North Sea Basin as Shown by Charcoal Evidence from Burnt Ant Nests.” VEGETATION HISTORY AND ARCHAEOBOTANY 25.4 (2016): 311–321. Print.
@article{6994702,
  abstract     = {Based on a dataset of 434 radiocarbon dates and charcoal data from burnt abandoned ant nests which were formerly interpreted as Mesolithic hearth-pits, the correlation between short periods of abrupt climatic cooling and increased forest fires during the early and middle Holocene is studied. Despite dating calibration limits, the results indicate a clear synchronicity between the 9.3 ka event and widespread and repeated forest fires which occurred in a coniferous woodland environment dominated by Pinus sylvestris (pine). It is argued that the cold and dry climatic conditions resulted in an overall desiccation of pines, which became prone to wildfires. A similar correlation is tentatively suggested for the 8.2 ka event, though changing climate first affected vegetation by reintroducing pines followed by increased wildfires. Indications of forest fires possibly caused by humans only appear around 6,400/6,200 uncal bp, corresponding to the final stage of hunter-gatherers along the southern North Sea basin.},
  author       = {Cromb{\'e}, Philippe},
  issn         = {0939-6314},
  journal      = {VEGETATION HISTORY AND ARCHAEOBOTANY},
  keyword      = {ENVIRONMENTAL-CHANGE,ABRUPT CLIMATE-CHANGE,EVENT STRATIGRAPHY,VEGETATION,BELGIUM,NETHERLANDS,VARIABILITY,RESPONSES,RECORDS,EUROPE,Mesolithic hunter-gatherers,Wildfires,Charcoal,Radiocarbon dating,Climate change,Vegetation change},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {311--321},
  title        = {Forest fire dynamics during the early and middle Holocene along the southern North Sea basin as shown by charcoal evidence from burnt ant nests},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00334-015-0550-y},
  volume       = {25},
  year         = {2016},
}

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