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Holocene Circum-Arctic Peatland Synthesis - Database Version 1

Project summary:

A large-scale synthesis on carbon accumulation records in northern peatlands during the Holocene was launched in 2012, as part of a collaborative research project that also includes new data collection and modeling. The project is funded by the United States National Science Foundation (US-NSF) - Arctic Natural Science Program. Project Principal Investigators are Zicheng Yu (Lehigh University, USA), Dave Beilman (University of Hawai’i, USA), and Phil Camill (Bowdoin College, USA). The project postdoc and coordinator was Julie Loisel (Lehigh University) from 2012-2014 and is Charly Massa (Lehigh University) since 2014. The main project objectives of the synthesis component are (1) to compile all available northern peatland carbon records spanning the Holocene, (2) to derive the most comprehensive and representative dataset of peat properties (including bulk density, organic matter content, carbon and nitrogen content) from northern peatlands that can be used for estimating carbon stocks, and (3) ) to document and understand spatial and temporal patterns of peat carbon accumulation over the Holocene (see Yu et al. 2009 for an early effort). This synthesis effort is in close collaboration with a UK NERC-funded project led by Dan Charman (University of Exeter, UK) to synthesize and model global peatland carbon dynamics over the last millennium, as an expansion of an early effort (Charman et al. 2013).

The first version of our Holocene Peatland Carbon Database was presented in a paper published in The Holocene (Loisel et al. 2014).

Call for Data Contributions:

We still seek contiguously sampled records of bulk density and organic matter content (LOI at 500-550°C) from cores with at least 5 dated levels (radiocarbon dates, tephra dates, etc.). Peat records do not have to span the entire Holocene to be included in the database; we welcome every contribution. All study sites must be located in the circum-Arctic region (> 45°N) or at high elevation (e.g., the Tibetan plateau). Finally, we welcome both published and unpublished datasets. Additional data such as stratigraphic information, plant macrofossils, or C, N, and P content are not essential for our analysis, but they would greatly complement our work and allow us to perform additional crosschecks and pilot analyses.

We invite you to join our effort by contributing your raw data from your sites to the next version of the database.