Late-Holocene expansion of a south Swedish peatland and its impact on marginal ecosystems: Evidence from dendrochronology, peat stratigraphy and palaeobotanical data

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this study, a reconstruction of the long-term development and lateral expansion of a south Swedish peat bog was performed using a multi-proxy approach, including dendrochronology, peat stratigraphy and macrofossil and pollen analyses. By combining mapping of cross-dated subfossil trees with radiocarbon-dated peat sequences, an improved approach to reconstruction of lateral peat expansion was applied. Apart from providing approximate ages of tree burial episodes, the ring-width records offer information on hydrological variations prior to the bog expansion. New bog oak, pine and alder chronologies are presented and their potential as a dating tool for peatland expansion as well as for local to regional environmental interpretations is examined. Our tree-replication records show that increased amounts of bog trees in the central parts can be linked to drier bog-surface conditions, whereas an increase in wood remains in the marginal zone is related to enhanced preservation due to lateral bog expansion. Our reconstructions of the development of the peat deposit and associated changes in the distribution of vegetation communities provide new insight into peatland responses to climate change at the end of the 'Holocene Thermal Maximum' (5000-4000 cal. yr BP).


External organisations
  • University of Bern
  • Tallinn University of Technology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physical Geography
  • Geology


  • alder, dendrochronology, late Holocene, lateral bog expansion, macrofossil analysis, oak, peat stratigraphy, pollen analysis, South, Sweden, subfossil trees
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-476
JournalThe Holocene
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch