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Paleoecology and high-resolution paleohydrology of a kettle peatland in upper Michigan

  • Robert K. Booth (a1), Stephen T. Jackson (a1) and Catherine E.D. Gray (a2)

We investigated the developmental and hydrological history of a Sphagnum-dominated, kettle peatland in Upper Michigan using testate amoebae, plant macrofossils, and pollen. Our primary objective was to determine if the paleohydrological record of the peatland represents a record of past climate variability at subcentennial to millennial time scales. To assess the role of millennial-scale climate variability on peatland paleohydrology, we compared the timing of peatland and upland vegetation changes. To investigate the role of higher-frequency climate variability on peatland paleohydrology, we used testate amoebae to reconstruct a high-resolution, hydrologic history of the peatland for the past 5100 years, and compared this record to other regional records of paleoclimate and vegetation. Comparisons revealed coherent patterns of hydrological, vegetational, and climatic changes, suggesting that peatland paleohydrology responded to climate variability at millennial to sub-centennial time scales. Although ombrotrophic peatlands have been the focus of most high-resolution peatland paleoclimate research, paleohydrological records from Sphagnum-dominated, closed-basin peatlands record high-frequency and low-magnitude climatic changes and thus represent a significant source of unexplored paleoclimate data.

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