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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 14, issue 1 | Copyright
Clim. Past, 14, 85-100, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 25 Jan 2018

Research article | 25 Jan 2018

Dendrochronologically dated pine stumps document phase-wise bog expansion at a northwest German site between ca. 6700 and ca. 3400 BC

Inke Elisabeth Maike Achterberg1, Jan Eckstein2, Bernhard Birkholz3, Andreas Bauerochse4, and Hanns Hubert Leuschner1 Inke Elisabeth Maike Achterberg et al.
  • 1Department for Palynology and Climate Dynamics, University of Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
  • 2Independent researcher: Arnoldiweg 20, 37083 Göttingen, Germany
  • 3Independent researcher: Tegeler Str. 9, 38518 Gifhorn, Germany
  • 4Lower Saxony State Service of Cultural Heritage, 30175 Hanover, Germany

Abstract. The investigated northwest German mire site at Totes Moor is densely covered with subfossil pine stumps (Pinus sylvestris L.) from the fen–bog transition. This facilitates the spatio-temporal reconstruction of mire development, which is based on 212 in situ tree stumps in the case study presented here. Six dendrochronologically dated site chronologies together cover 2345 years between 6703 and 3403 BC. The gaps in between are 6 to 550 years long. Additionally, a floating chronology of 309 years, containing 30 trees, was radiocarbon-dated to the beginning of the 7th millennium cal BC. Peat-stratigraphical survey was carried out additionally, and elevations a.s.l. were determined at several locations.

Tree dying-off phases, which indicate water level rise at the site, mostly in context of the local fen–bog transition, are evident for ca. 6600–6450, ca. 6350–5750, ca. 5300–4900, ca. 4700–4550, ca. 3900–3850, ca. 3700–3600, ca. 3500–3450 and ca. 3400 BC. The spatial distribution of the dated in situ trees illustrates the phase-wise expansion of raised bog over fen peat at the site. The documented bog expansion pulses likely correspond to climatic wet sifts.

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Short summary
At a bog site at Totes Moor in northwest Germany a layer of pine tree stumps at the fen–bog transition was exposed by peat mining. The lateral expansion of ombrotrophic bog between 6703 BC and 3403 BC was reconstructed using the locations and dendrochronological dates of the tree stumps. The spatial pattern relates to the elevation a.s.l. of the mineral base beneath the peat. The temporal distribution of bog expansion pulses relates to climatic variation.
At a bog site at Totes Moor in northwest Germany a layer of pine tree stumps at the fen–bog...