Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Resilience of lake biogeochemistry to boreal-forest wildfires during the late Holocene

Citation

Chipman, Melissa L.; Hu, Feng Sheng (2019), Data from: Resilience of lake biogeochemistry to boreal-forest wildfires during the late Holocene, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.440rk01

Abstract

Novel fire regimes are expected in many boreal regions, and it is unclear how biogeochemical cycles will respond. We leverage fire and vegetation records from a highly flammable ecoregion in Alaska and present new lake-sediment analyses to examine biogeochemical responses to fire over the past 5300 years. No significant difference exists in δ13C, %C, %N, C:N, or magnetic susceptibility between pre-fire, post-fire, and fire samples. However, δ15N is related to the timing relative to fire (Χ2=19.73, p<0.0001), with higher values for fire-decade samples (3.2±0.3‰) than pre-fire (2.4±0.2‰) and post-fire (2.2±0.1‰) samples. Sediment δ15N increased gradually from 1.8±0.6‰ to 3.2±0.2‰ over the late Holocene, probably as a result of terrestrial-ecosystem development. Elevated δ15N in fire decades likely reflects enhanced terrestrial nitrification and/or deeper permafrost-thaw depths immediately following fire. Similar δ15N values before and after fire decades suggest that N cycling in this lowland-boreal watershed was resilient to fire disturbance. However, this resilience may diminish as boreal ecosystems approach climate-driven thresholds of vegetation structure, permafrost thaw, and fire.

Usage Notes

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: 1636476

Location

Alaska
Yukon Flats