CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > International Journal of Wildland Fire   
International Journal of Wildland Fire
  Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Structure
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Research Fronts
Sample Issue
20-Year Author Index
For Authors
General Information
Submit Article
Author Instructions
Open Access
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates
Library Recommendation

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with CP
blank image
facebook twitter logo LinkedIn

red arrow Connect with IAWF
blank image
facebook twitter LinkedIn


Open Access Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 23(6)

Holocene fire in Fennoscandia and Denmark

Jennifer L. Clear A C D, Chiara Molinari B and Richard H. W. Bradshaw C

A Department of Forest Ecology, Czech University of Life Sciences, Kamýcka 129, CZ-16521 Prague, Czech Republic.
B Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, S-22362 Lund, Sweden.
C Present address: Department of Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool, Chatham Street, Liverpool, L69 7ZT, UK.
D Corresponding author. Email: clear@fld.czu.cz

International Journal of Wildland Fire 23(6) 781-789 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF13188
Submitted: 8 November 2013  Accepted: 21 March 2014   Published: 29 July 2014

 Full Text
 PDF (635 KB)
 Supplementary Material
 Export Citation

Natural disturbance dynamics, such as fire, have a fundamental control on forest composition and structure. Knowledge of fire history and the dominant drivers of fire are becoming increasingly important for conservation and management practice. Temporal and spatial variability in biomass burning is examined here using 170 charcoal and 15 fire scar records collated throughout Fennoscandia and Denmark. The changing fire regime is discussed in relation to local biogeographical controls, regional climatic change, anthropogenic land use and fire suppression. The region has experienced episodic variability in the dominant drivers of biomass burning throughout the Holocene, creating a frequently changing fire regime. Early Holocene biomass burning appears to be driven by fuel availability. Increased continentality during the mid-Holocene Thermal Maximum coincides with an increase in fire. The mid–late Holocene front-like spread of Picea abies (Norway spruce) and cooler, wetter climatic conditions reduce local biomass burning before the onset of intensified anthropogenic land use, and the late Holocene increase in anthropogenic activity created artificially high records of biomass burning that overshadowed the natural fire signal. An economic shift from extensive subsistence land use to agriculture and forestry as well as active fire suppression has reduced regional biomass burning. However, it is proposed that without anthropogenic fire suppression, the underlying natural fire signal would remain low because of the now widespread dominance of P. abies.

Additional keywords: biomass burning, climate change, fire suppression, slash and burn.


Alenius T, Mikkola E, Ojala AEK (2008) History of agriculture in MIkkeli Orijärvi, eastern Finland as reflected by palynological and archaeological data. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 17, 171–183.
CrossRef |

Alenius T, Mökkönen T, Lahelma A (2013) Early farming in the northern Boreal zone: reassessing the history of landuse in southeastern Finland through high-resolution pollen analysis. Geoarchaeology 28, 1–24.
CrossRef |

Andersen BG (1979) The deglaciation of Norway 15 000–10 000 BP. Boreas 8, 79–87.
CrossRef |

Andersen BG (1980) The deglaciation of Norway after 10 000 BP. Boreas 9, 211–216.
CrossRef |

Berglund BE (1979) The deglaciation of southern Sweden 13 500–10 000 BP. Boreas 8, 89–117.
CrossRef |

Björck S, Möller P (1987) Late Weichselian environmental history in southeastern Sweden during the deglaciation of the Scandinavian ice sheet. Quaternary Research 28, 1–37.
CrossRef |

Bjune AE, Ohlson M, Birks HJB, Bradshaw RHW (2009) The development and local stand-scale dynamics of a Picea abies forest in southeastern Norway. The Holocene 19, 1073–1082.
CrossRef |

Blaauw M (2010) Methods and code for ‘classical’ age-modelling of radiocarbon sequences. Quaternary Geochronology 5, 512–518.
CrossRef |

Bradshaw RHW, Holmqvist BH, Cowling SA, Sykes MT (2000) The effects of climate change on the distribution and management of Picea abies in southern Scandinavia Canadian Journal of Forest Research 30, 1992–1998.
CrossRef |

Clear JL, Seppä H, Kuosmanen N, Bradshaw RHW (2013) Holocene fire frequency variability in Vesijako, Strict Nature Reserve, Finland, and its application to conservation and management. Biological Conservation 166, 90–97.
CrossRef |

D’Anjou RM, Bradley RS, Balascio NL, Finkelstein DB (2012) Climate impacts on human settlement and agricultural activities in northern Norway revealed through sediment biogeochemistry. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109, 20332–20337.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Davis BAS, Brewer S, Stevenson AC, Guiot J (2003) The temperature of Europe during the Holocene reconstructed from pollen data. Quaternary Science Reviews 22, 1701–1716.
CrossRef |

ESRI (2011) ‘ArcGIS Desktop: Release 10.’ (Environmental Systems Research Institute: Redlands, CA)

Fyfe RM, de Beaulieu J-L, Binney H, Bradshaw RHW, Brewer S, Le Flao A, Finsinger W, Gaillard M-J, Giesecke T, Gilromera G, Grimm EC, Huntley B, Kuneš P, Kühl N, Leydet M, Lotter AF, Tarasov PE, Tonkov S (2009) The European Pollen Database: past efforts and current activities. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 18, 417–424.
CrossRef |

Giesecke T, Bennett KD (2004) The Holocene spread of Picea abies (L.) Karst. in Fennoscandia and adjacent areas. Journal of Biogeography 31, 1523–1548.
CrossRef |

Giesecke T, Bjune AE, Chiverrell RC, Seppä H, Ojala AEK, Birks HJB (2008) Exploring Holocene continentality changes in Fennoscandia using present and past tree distributions. Quaternary Science Reviews 27, 1296–1308.
CrossRef |

Granström A, Niklasson M (2008) Potentials and limitations for human control over historic fire regimes in the boreal forest. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 363, 2351–2356.
CrossRef |

Grimm E (1987) CONISS: a FORTRAN 77 program for stratigraphically constrained cluster analysis by the method of incremental sum of squares. Computers & Geosciences 13, 13–35.
CrossRef |

Higuera PE, Peters ME, Brubaker LB, Gavin DG (2007) Understanding the origin and analysis of sediment–charcoal records with a simulation model. Quaternary Science Reviews 26, 1790–1809.
CrossRef |

Kullman L (2001) Immigration of Picea abies into North-Central Sweden. New evidence of regional expansion and tree-limit evolution. Nordic Journal of Botany 21, 39–54.
CrossRef |

Lagerås P (1996) Farming and forest dynamics in an agriculturally marginal area of southern Sweden, 5000 BC to present: a palynological study of Lake Avegöl in the Småland Uplands. The Holocene 6, 301–314.
CrossRef |

Lindbladh M, Niklasson M, Nilsson SG (2003) Long-time record of fire and open canopy in a high biodiversity forest in southeast Sweden. Biological Conservation 114, 231–243.
CrossRef |

Lundqvist J (1986) Late Weichselian glaciation and deglaciation in Scandinavia. Quaternary Science Reviews 5, 269–292.
CrossRef |

Lunkka JP, Johansson P, Saarnisto M, Sallasmaa O (2004) Glaciation of Finland. In: ‘Quaternary Glaciations: Extent and Chronology’. Developments in Quaternary Science 2. pp. 93–100, (Elsevier: Amsterdam)

Marlon JR, Bartlein PJ, Daniau A-L, Harrison SP, Maezumi SY, Power MJ, Tinner W, Vanniére B (2013) Global biomass burning: a synthesis and review of Holocene paleofire records and their controls. Quaternary Science Reviews 65, 5–25.
CrossRef |

Miller PA, Giesecke T, Hickler T, Bradshaw RHW, Smith B, Seppä H, Valdes PJ, Sykes MT (2008) Exploring climatic and biotic controls on Holocene vegetation change in Fennoscandia. Journal of Ecology 96, 247–259.
CrossRef |

Molinari C, Lehsten V, Bradshaw RHW, Power MJ, Harmand P, Arneth A, Kaplan JO, Vannière B, Sykes MT (2013) Exploring potential drivers of European biomass burning over the Holocene: a data–model analysis. Global Ecology and Biogeography
CrossRef |

Niklasson M, Granström A (2000) Numbers and sizes of fires: long-term spatially explicit fire history in a Swedish boreal landscape. Ecology 81, 1484–1499.
CrossRef |

Ohlson M, Tryterud E (2000) Interpretation of the charcoal record in forest soils: forest fires and their production and deposition of macroscopic charcoal. The Holocene 10, 519–525.
CrossRef |

Ohlson M, Brown KJ, Birks HJB, Grytnes J-A, Hörnberg G, Niklasson M, Seppä H, Bradshaw RHW (2011) Invasion of Norway spruce diversifies the fire regime in boreal European forests. Journal of Ecology 99, 395–403.

Paus A, Velle G, Larsen J, Nesje A, Lie Ø (2006) Lateglacial nunataks in central Scandinavia: Biostratigraphical evidence for ice thickness from Lake Flåfattjønn, Tynset, Norway. Quaternary Science Reviews 25, 1228–1246.
CrossRef |

Power MJ, Mayle FE, Bartlein PJ, Marlon JR, Anderson RS, Behling H, Carcaillet C, Colombaroli D, Gavin DG, Hallett DJ, Horn SP, Kennedy LM, Lane CS, Long CJ, Moreno PI, Paitre C, Robinson G, Taylor Z, Walsh MK (2013) Climate control of the biomass-burning decline in the Americas after AD 1500. The Holocene 23, 3–13.
CrossRef |

R Development Core Team (2010) ‘R: a Language and Environment for Statistical Computing.’ (R Foundation for Statistical Computing: Vienna, Austria)

Reitalu T, Seppä H, Sugita S, Kangur M, Koff T, Avel E, Kihno K, Vassiljev J, Renssen H, Hammarlund D, Heikkilä M, Saarse L, Poska A, Veski S (2013) Long-term drivers of forest composition in a boreonemoral region: the relative importance of climate and human impact. Journal of Biogeography 40, 1524–1534.
CrossRef |

Rosén P, Segerström U, Eriksson L, Renberg I, Birks HJB (2001) Holocene climatic change reconstructed from diatoms, chironomids, pollen and near-infrared spectroscopy at an alpine lake (Sjuodjijaure) in northern Sweden. The Holocene 11, 551–562.
CrossRef |

Ruokolainen L, Salo K (2006) The succession of boreal forest vegetation during ten years after slash-burning in Koli National Park, eastern Finland. Annales Botanici Fennici 43, 363–378.

Seppä H, Birks HJB (2001) July mean temperature and annual precipitation trends during the Holocene in the Fennoscandian tree-line area: pollen-based climate reconstructions. The Holocene 11, 527–539.
CrossRef |

Seppä H, Alenius T, Bradshaw RHW, Giesecke T, Heikkilä M, Muukkonen P (2009) Invasion of Norway spruce (Picea abies) and the rise of the boreal ecosystem in Fennoscandia. Journal of Ecology 97, 629–640.
CrossRef |

Storaunet KO, Rolstad J, Toeneiet M, Blanck Y-L (2013) Strong anthropogenic signals in historic forest fir regime: a detailed spatiotemporal case study from south-central Norway. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 43, 836–845.
CrossRef |

Taavitsainen J-P, Simola H, Grönlund E (1998) Cultivation history beyond the periphery: early agriculture in the North European boreal forest. Journal of World Prehistory 12, 199–253.
CrossRef |

Tallavaara M, Seppä H (2012) Did the mid-Holocene environmental changes cause the boom and bust of hunter–gatherer population size in eastern Fennoscandia? The Holocene 22, 215–225.
CrossRef |

Wallenius T (2011) Major decline in fires in confierous forests – reconstructing the phenomenon and seeking for the cause. Silva Fennica 45, 139–155.
CrossRef |

Wallenius TH, Lilja S, Kuuluvainen T (2007) Fire history and tree species composition in managed Picea abies stands in southern Finland: implications for restoration. Forest Ecology and Management 250, 89–95.
CrossRef |

Whitlock C (2004) Land management – forests, fires and climate. Nature 432, 28–29.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Zackrisson O (1977) Influence of forest fires on the north Swedish boreal forest. Oikos 29, 22–32.
CrossRef |

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2016