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Sparking New Opportunities for Charcoal-Based Fire History Reconstructions

Author(s): Julie C. Aleman, Andy Hennebelle, Boris Vannière, Olivier Blarquez, Global Paleofire Working Group
Year Published: 2018

Paleofire research is the study of past fire regimes using a suite of proxies (frequency, area burned, severity, intensity, etc.). Charcoal preserved in sedimentary archives constitutes one of the most ubiquitous measures of past fire regimes along with fire-scarred tree rings, chemical markers of fire, and black carbon residue [1,2]. The quantity of charcoal accumulating in sediments over time reflects changes in biomass burned and captures the range of its variability across multiple time scales (e.g., decadal to millennial [3]). The Global Paleofire Working Group Phase 2 (GPWG2; http://pastglobalchanges.org/ini/wg/gpwg2/intro(link is external)) is a team of scientists interested in reconstructing past fire regimes in diverse environments. This paper provides a brief introduction to the evolution of charcoal-based paleofire science as a discipline and presents the outcome of the recent workshop organized by the GPWG2 in Montreal (October 2017), focusing on applications of paleofire knowledge to the management of a range of ecosystem challenges.

Citation: Aleman, Julie C.; Hennebelle, Andy; Vannière, Boris; Blarquez, Olivier; the Global Paleofire Working Group. 2018. Sparking new opportunities for charcoal-based fire history reconstructions. Fire 1(1):7.
Topic(s): Fire History, Frequency, Fire Regime, Fire Intensity / Burn Severity
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 17103
FRAMES RCS number: 25814
Record updated: May 24, 2018