Project area HolFiSH

Holocene fire history in Northern Germany, inferred from peat and sediment charcoal records with various spatial resolution in selected areas of Schleswig-Holstein

DFG-project NE970/9-1

pictureTo understand the dynamics of ecosystems it is important consider the role of past fire oc-curences. Palaeofires might have had an important influence on vegetation establishment and change during the Holocene as disturbance event of the ecosystem. While this is well known for Mediterranean or Boreal areas, the role of fire in central European ecosystems is less under-stood.

This research project attempts to reconstruct the fire history at a local and regional scale by the analysis of charcoal records from different contexts of palaeo-archives in two selected areas in Schleswig-Holstein, Northern Germany.

Different types of charcoal records – micro- and macro-charcoal from peat and lake sediment sequences, as well as mega-charcoals from soils are put in a sound chronological framework and the records are compared to detect the presence/absence of synchronicity in the fire history, which might allow to postulate a sound hypothesis concerning the human influence on the local as well as regional fire history. The new approach combining different methods will be tested in the project and will give valuable information for future research into Holocene fire history.