13,000 years of fire history derived from soil charcoal in a British Columbia coastal temperate rain forest

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dc.contributor.author Hoffman, Kira M.
dc.contributor.author Gavin, D. G.
dc.contributor.author Lertzman, K. P.
dc.contributor.author Smith, D. J.
dc.contributor.author Starzomski, B. M.
dc.date.accessioned 2020-11-12T23:45:08Z
dc.date.available 2020-11-12T23:45:08Z
dc.date.copyright 2016 en_US
dc.date.issued 2016
dc.identifier.citation Hoffman, K. M., Gavin, D. G., Lertzman, K. P., Smith, D. J., & Starzomski, B. M. (2016). 13,000 years of fire history derived from soil charcoal in a British Columbia coastal temperate rain forest. Ecosphere, 7(7), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.1415. en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.1415
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/12344
dc.description.abstract Little is known regarding the fire history of high‐latitude coastal temperate rain forests in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) of North America. While reconstructing historical fire regimes typically requires dendrochronological records from fire‐scarred trees or stratigraphically preserved lake sediment data, this type of information is virtually non‐existent in this region. To describe the long‐term fire history of a site on the central coast of British Columbia, Canada, we radiocarbon‐dated 52 pieces of charcoal. Charcoal ages ranged from 12,670 to 70 yr BP. Fires occurred regularly since 12,670 yr BP, with the exception of a distinct fire‐free period at 7500–5500 yr BP. Time since fire (TSF) estimates from soil charcoal and fire‐scarred trees ranged from 12,670 to 100 yr BP (median = 327 yr), and 70% of the sites examined had burned within the past 1000 yr. An increase in fire frequency in the late Holocene is consistent with the widely held hypothesis that anthropogenic fires were common across the PNW. We evaluate TSF distributions and discuss the difficulties in assigning actual fire dates from charcoal fragments with large inbuilt ages in a coastal temperate rain forest setting. We determine that a comprehensive approach using soil charcoal and fire scar analyses is necessary to reconstruct general trends in fire activity throughout the Holocene in this region. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship We greatly appreciate the field and laboratory assistance from the Hakai Institute and thank the Heiltsuk and Wuikinuxv Nations for helpful discussions and assistance. We also appreciate field and laboratory support from Julia Bennett, Sara Wickham, Sarah Friesen, Andrew Trant, Owen Fitzpatrick, Duncan McLaren, Nancy Turner, Dana Lepofsky, Ian Giesbrecht, Keith Jordan, Luba Reshitnyk, and Keith Holmes. This research was supported by funds from the Hakai Institute, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Canada Foundation for Innovation, and the Ian McTaggart Cowan professorship at the University of Victoria. Guidance and support from Dr. Daniel Gavin during an NSERC Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement to the University of Oregon (received by KH) made this article possible. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Ecosphere en_US
dc.subject British Columbia en_US
dc.subject coastal temperate rain forest en_US
dc.subject Holocene fire history en_US
dc.subject human-climate-fire interactions en_US
dc.subject Pacific Northwest en_US
dc.subject radiocarbon dating en_US
dc.subject soil charcoal en_US
dc.title 13,000 years of fire history derived from soil charcoal in a British Columbia coastal temperate rain forest en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Faculty en_US
dc.description.reviewstatus Reviewed en_US

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