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Title: Testing the cause of recent environmental change in ombrotrophic peatlands using multiproxy data
Author: Turner, Thomas Edward
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2012
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Peatlands are important ecosystems in terms of biodiversity, nature conservation and the hydrological cycle. They also represent the most significant long-term carbon store in the terrestrial biosphere. As there is much concern regarding the effect of climate change on peatlands, it is vital that their ecohydrological responses to future climate scenarios and human influence are understood. Studying past peatland responses to environmental change in a holistic fashion is a key part of this process. Testate amoebae are increasingly being used as indicator organisms m both palaeoenvironmental and contemporary applications. The ecology of testate amoebae and their responses to environmental factors was explored. It was found that the taxon Hyalosphenia subf1ava can thrive in peatlands severely affected by wildfire. An extensive testate amoebae training set, which includes a number of previously unquantified modem analogues, has been used to construct a new, robust transfer function for Northern England (NE). This transfer function was comprehensively tested using a novel spatially-independent cross-validation approach against two other existing models. A high-resolution, multiple-proxy palaeoenvironmental reconstruction spanning the last -2400 years from Malham Tam Moss, Northern England is presented. Peatland water tables were reconstructed using the NE transfer function together with plant macrofossil and peat humification methods. Local and regional vegetation changes were inferred through pollen and plant macrofossil analyses, changes in geochemistry were examined through X-ray fluorescence and burning events identified through charcoal concentrations. Peat and carbon accumulation were calculated through bulk density, loss-on-ignition and CIN ratio. A high-precision chronology was achieved through Bayesian modelling techniques applied to a sequence of AMS 14C dates and spheroidal carbonaceous particles.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available