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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Distal volcanic impacts on peatlands: palaeoecological evidence from Alaska
Authors: Payne, Richard
Blackford, Jeffrey J
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Keywords: peatlands
volcanic impacts
testate amoebae
Issue Date: Nov-2008
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Payne R & Blackford JJ (2008) Distal volcanic impacts on peatlands: palaeoecological evidence from Alaska, Quaternary Science Reviews, 27 (21-22), pp. 2012-2030.
Abstract: Despite the fact that volcanic ash (tephra) layers are found preserved in peat deposits around the world, comparatively little research has investigated the impacts of distal volcanic emissions on peatlands. This study investigates the impacts of several late-Holocene volcanic eruptions on five peatlands in southern Alaska using a palaeoecological approach. Testate amoebae analysis, peat humification analysis and a basic analysis of plant macrofossil components were applied across 11 tephra layers. Changes in macrofossil and testate amoebae assemblages occur across several of the tephra layers. The humification results were considered unreliable because of a methodological problem, a finding which may have implications for other studies using this technique. Redundancy analyses on testate amoebae data show statistically significant changes associated with two tephras. The most likely causes of the impacts are volcanic gases, acidic precipitation or tephra-derived leachates. The finding that some tephras are associated with impacts whereas others are not may relate to the season of the eruption or meteorological conditions at the time of ash fall. These results suggest the sensitivity of peatlands and peatland microbial communities to distal volcanic products and imply that changes in key palaeoclimatic proxies may be caused by a mechanism independent of climate change. Implications of the results for peat-based palaeoclimatic studies are discussed, as are possible directions for future research.
Type: Journal Article
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Rights: Published in Quaternary Science Reviews by Elsevier; Elsevier believes that individual authors should be able to distribute their accepted author manuscripts for their personal voluntary needs and interests, e.g. posting to their websites or their institution’s repository, e-mailing to colleagues. The Elsevier Policy is as follows: Authors retain the right to use the accepted author manuscript for personal use, internal institutional use and for permitted scholarly posting provided that these are not for purposes of commercial use or systematic distribution. An "accepted author manuscript" is the author’s version of the manuscript of an article that has been accepted for publication and which may include any author-incorporated changes suggested through the processes of submission processing, peer review, and editor-author communications.
Affiliation: Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of Manchester

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