Multidimensional assessments of long-term anthropogenic impacts on domed peatlands: Learning from two centuries at Alfred Bog, Ontario Canada

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Foster, Robert Alexander




This study examines changes in a domed peatland's areal versus volumetric reduction, impacts of anthropogenic drivers and supply of three ecosystem services (ESs) (carbon storage, food production, peat production) over 11 dates covering 200+ years (1800-2014). Historical air photos, maps and texts were used to map changes. Trends in area versus volume, for both the peatland's reduction and impacts of individual drivers, diverged. The divergence varied in magnitude both between examined drivers and dates, as their distribution across the depth profile changed. Despite greater areal losses in the 1800s, deeper disturbances in the 1900s yielded greater volumetric changes. This paralleled the shift from agricultural conversion to commercial peat extraction, underscoring their distinct and temporally dynamic effects on ES supply. Shorter intervals helped identify changing relationships between ESs and drivers, and broader human-environmental interactions. Thus, detecting spatial and temporal variations in ES responses to disturbances within domed peatlands necessitated multidimensional analyses.


Physical Geography
Environmental Sciences




Carleton University

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