Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-272
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-272

  19 Aug 2021

19 Aug 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

The Reading Palaeofire database: an expanded global resource to document changes in fire regimes from sedimentary charcoal records

Sandy P. Harrison1,2, Roberto Villegas-Diaz1, Esmeralda Cruz-Silva1, Daniel Gallagher2,3, David Kesner1,2, Paul Lincoln1,2, Yicheng Shen1, Luke Sweeney1,2, Daniele Colombaroli2,3, Adam Ali4, Chéïma Barhoumi5, Yves Bergeron6,7, Tatiana Blyakharchuk8, Přemysl Bobek9, Richard Bradshaw10, Jennifer L. Clear11, Sambor Czerwiński12, Anne-Laure Daniau13, John Dodson14,15, Kevin J. Edwards16,17, Mary E. Edwards18, Angelica Feurdean19, David Foster20, Konrad Gajewski21, Mariusz Gałka22, Michelle Garneau23, Thomas Giesecke24, Graciela Gil Romera25,26, Martin P. Girardin27, Dana Hoefer28, Kangyou Huang29, Jun Inoue30, Eva Jamrichová9, Naurius Jasiunis31, Wenying Jiang32, Gonzalo Jiménez-Moreno33, Monika Karpińska-Kołaczek12, Piotr Kołaczek12, Niina Kuosmanen34, Mariusz Lamentowicz35, Martin Lavoie36, Fang Li37, Jianyong Li38, Olga Lisitsyna39,40, J. Antonio López-Sáez41, Reyes Luelmo-Lautenschlaeger41, Gabriel Magnan23, Eniko K. Magyari42, Alekss Maksims43, Katarzyna Marcisz12, Elena Marinova44, Jenn Marlon45, Scott Mensing46, Joanna Miroslaw-Grabowska47, Wyatt Oswald20,48, Sebastián Pérez-Díaz49, Ramón Pérez-Obiol50, Sanna Piilo51, Anneli Poska39,52, Xiaoguang Qin53, Cécile C. Remy54, Pierre Richard55, Sakari Salonen34, Naoko Sasaki56, Hieke Schneider57, William Shotyk58, Migle Stancikaite59, Dace Šteinberga43, Normunds Stivrins31,39,60, Hikaru Takahara61, Zhihai Tan62, Liva Trasune31,34, Charles E. Umbanhowar63, Minna Väliranta51, Jüri Vassiljev39, Xiayun Xiao64, Qinghai Xu65, Xin Xu37, Edyta Zawisza66, Yan Zhao67, and Zheng Zhou29 Sandy P. Harrison et al.
  • 1School of Archaeology, Geography & Environmental Science, Reading University, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AH, UK
  • 2Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society, Imperial College London, South Kensington, London, SW7 2BW, UK
  • 3Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, TW20 0 SS, UK
  • 4University de Montpellier, Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution (CNRS, IRD, EPHE), France
  • 5Department of Palynology and Climate Dynamics, Albrecht-von-Haller Institute for Plant Sciences, University of Göttingen, Untere Karspüle 2, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
  • 6Forest Research Institute (IRF), Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), Rouyn-Noranda, QC, Canada J9X 5E4
  • 7Department of Biological Sciences, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3P8
  • 8Institute of Monitoring of Climatic and Ecological Systems of Siberian branch of Russian Academy of Sciences (IMCES SB RAS), Tomsk, 634055, Russia
  • 9Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences, Lidická 25/27, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic
  • 10Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 7ZT, UK
  • 11Department of Geography and Environmental Science, Liverpool Hope University, Taggart Street, Childwall, Liverpool, L16 9JD, UK
  • 12Climate Change Ecology Research Unit, Faculty of Geographical and Geological Sciences, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Bogumiła Krygowskiego 10, 61-680 Poznań, Poland
  • 13Environnements et Paléoenvironnements Océaniques et Continentaux (EPOC), Unité Mixte de Recherche (UMR) 5805, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Université de Bordeaux, 33615 Pessac, France
  • 14Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Keji 1st Rd, Yanta District, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
  • 15School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2500, Australia
  • 16Department of Geography & Environment and Archaeology, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UX, UK
  • 17McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  • 18School of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
  • 19Department of Physical Geography, Goethe University, Altenhöferallee 1, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • 20Harvard Forest, Harvard University, Petersham MA 01366 USA
  • 21Département de Géographie, Environnement et Géomatique, Université d’Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, K1N6N5 Canada
  • 22University of Lodz, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, Department of Biogeography, Paleoecology and Nature Protection, 1/3 Banacha Str., 90-237 Lodz, Poland
  • 23GEOTOP Research Center, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal QC, H2X 3Y7, Canada
  • 24Department of Physical Geography, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Netherlands
  • 25Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología-CSIC, Avda. Montañana 1005, 50059, Zaragoza, Spain
  • 26Plant Ecology & Geobotany, Karl-Von-Frisch-Straße 8, Philipps University of Marburg, Marburg
  • 27Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre, Quebec City, QC, Canada
  • 28Senckenberg Research Station of Quaternary Palaeontology, Am Jakobskirchhof 4, 99423 Weimar, Germany
  • 29School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai 519082, China
  • 30Department of Geosciences, Graduate School of Science, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan
  • 31Department of Geography, University of Latvia, Jelgavas iela 1, Riga, LV-1004, Latvia
  • 32Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 33Departamento de Estratigrafía y Paleontología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Granada, Avda. Fuente Nueva S/N, 18002 Granada, Spain
  • 34Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, P.O.Box 64, FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland
  • 35Faculty of Geographical and Geological Sciences, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Bogumiła Krygowskiego 10, 61-680 Poznan, Poland
  • 36Département de géographie, Université Laval, Québec, Canada
  • 37International Center for Climate and Environment Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 38Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Earth Surface System and Environmental Carrying Capacity, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Northwest University, Xi’an 710127, China
  • 39Department of Geology, Tallinn University of Technology, Ehitajate tee 5, 19086 Tallinn, Estonia
  • 40Russian State Agrarian University, Timiryazevskaya st., 49, 127550, Moskow, Russia
  • 41Environmental Archaeology Research Group, Institute of History, CSIC, Madrid, Spain
  • 42Department of Environmental and Landscape Geography, ELKH-MTM-ELTE Research Group for Paleontology, Eotvos Lorand university, 1117 Budapest, Pazmany Peter stny 1/c, Budapest, Hungary
  • 43Department of Geology, University of Latvia, Jelgavas iela 1, Riga, LV-1004, Latvia
  • 44Laboratory for Archaeobotany, State Office for Cultural Heritage Baden-Württemberg, Fischersteig 9, 78343 Geienhofen-Hemmenhofen, Germany
  • 45Yale School of the Environment, New Haven, Connecticut 06511, USA
  • 46Department of Geography, University of Nevada Reno, 1664 N Virginia St, Reno, NV 89557, USA
  • 47Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
  • 48Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies, Emerson College, Boston MA 02116 USA
  • 49Department of Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain
  • 50Unitat de Botànica, Facultat de Biociències, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
  • 51Environmental Change Research Unit (ECRU), Ecosystems, Environment Research Programme, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Viikinkaari 1, P.O. Box 65, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 52Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  • 53Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.19 Beitucheng West RD, Beijing, 100029, China
  • 54Institut für Geographie, Universität Augsburg, 86135 Augsburg, Germany
  • 55Département de géographie, Complexe des sciences, Université de Montréal, Montréal, H2V 0B3, Canada
  • 56Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Kyoto Prefectural University, 1-5 Hangi-cho, Shimogamo, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8522, Japan
  • 57Institut für Geographie, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Löbdergraben 32, 07743 Jena, Germany
  • 58Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, 348B South Academic Building, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H1, Canada
  • 59Institute of Geology and Geography, Nature Research Centre, Akademijos Str. 2, LT- 08412, Vilnius, Lithuania
  • 60Latvian Institute of History, University of Latvia, Kalpaka blv. 4, Riga, LV-1050, Latvia
  • 61Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto Prefectural University, Shimogamo, Sakyo-ku, 1- 5, Hangi-cho, 606-8522 Kyoto, Japan
  • 62School of Environment and Chemistry Engineering, Xi'an Polytechnic University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710048, China
  • 63Departments of Biology and Environmental Studies, St Olaf College, 1520 St Olaf Ave, Northfield, MN 55057, USA
  • 64State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
  • 65College of Resources and Environment Sciences, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang 050024, China
  • 66Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warsaw, Poland
  • 67Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China

Abstract. Sedimentary charcoal records are widely used to reconstruct regional changes in fire regimes through time in the geological past. Existing global compilations are not geographically comprehensive and do not provide consistent metadata for all sites. Furthermore, the age models provided for these records are not harmonised and many are based on older calibrations of the radiocarbon ages. These issues limit the use of existing compilations for research into past fire regimes. Here, we present an expanded database of charcoal records, accompanied by new age models based on recalibration of radiocarbon ages using INTCAL2020 and Bayesian age-modelling software. We document the structure and contents of the database, the construction of the age models, and the quality control measures applied. We also record the expansion of geographical coverage relative to previous charcoal compilations and the expansion of metadata that can be used to inform analyses. This first version of the Reading Palaeofire Database contains 1681 records (entities) from 1477 sites worldwide. The database (DOI: 10.17864/1947.319) is available from https://researchdata.reading.ac.uk/id/eprint/319.

Sandy P. Harrison et al.

Status: open (until 24 Oct 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-272', Daniel Gavin, 08 Sep 2021 reply
    • CC1: 'Reply on RC1', John Williams, 16 Sep 2021 reply

Sandy P. Harrison et al.

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The Reading Palaeofire Database: an expanded global resource to document changes in fire regimes from sedimentary charcoal records Harrison, S. P., Villegas-Diaz, R., Lincoln, P., Kesner, D., Cruz-Silva, E., Sweeney, L., Shen, Y. and Gallagher, D. https://doi.org/10.17864/1947.319

Sandy P. Harrison et al.

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Short summary
We provide a new global data set of charcoal preserved in sediments that can be used to examine how fire regimes have changed during past millennia and to investigate what caused these changes. The individual records have been standardised and new age models have been constructed to allow better comparison across sites. The data set contains 1681 records from 1477 sites worldwide.