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From natural to cultural mires during the last 15 ka years: An integrated approach comparing 14C ages on basal peat layers with geomorphological, palaeoecological and archaeological data (Eastern Massif Central, France)

Abstract : This paper studies mire initiation modalities from the Late-Glacial to the Holocene by comparing radiocarbon ages on basal peat layers (112 sites from the Eastern French Massif Central e EFMC) with long-term land cover changes. We developed a semi-quantitative method based on the degree of openness and on Anthropogenic Impact Factors (AIF scores) from palaeoecological data (mire and lake records). Archaeological information was also considered to evaluate human impact. We compared regional mire development trends with datasets from Northern Europe, Siberia, Alaska and Canada, and with global CH 4 emission. Heterogenous cases of mire initiation were highlighted during the last 15 ka years in the EMFC. From 15 to 11.7 ka cal. BP, some mires and histic horizons occurred, although further research is needed to better understand these peat accumulation phases. Related to the Early Holocene warming, a mire generation established by terrestrialization, in the southern EFMC where geo-morphology favoured fens. Bogs also formed by paludification in the whole area between 10 and 7 ka cal. BP. Then, various cases of mire initiation were found from 4.4 to 2.4 ka cal. BP. The high number of mires established since 2.4 ka cal. BP could be related to major anthropogenic changes, indirectly favouring fens (in former ponds for instance) or small bogs (at the back of roads, walls or in abandoned drainage systems). This last generation was typical of Western European mountains and implied that moderate human impact may also produce socio-ecosystems with high ecological value.
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André-Marie Dendievel, Isabelle Jouffroy-Bapicot, Jacqueline Argant, Antoine Scholtès, Arnaud Tourman, et al.. From natural to cultural mires during the last 15 ka years: An integrated approach comparing 14C ages on basal peat layers with geomorphological, palaeoecological and archaeological data (Eastern Massif Central, France). Quaternary Science Reviews, Elsevier, 2020, 233, pp.106219. ⟨10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106219⟩. ⟨hal-02531966⟩

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