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Historical land use in Scandinavia and its influence on carbon storage in soil and peat in the boreal landscape
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The history of land utilization in Scandinavia is characterized by two major periods of open landscape. The first one temporal ranged from cal. AD 0-500 and the second one ranged from cal. AD 1200-1900 including the medieval crisis in Scandinavia. Both periods were characterized by animal husbandry and intensive grazing as well as cultivation. However, slash-and-burn-cultivation and hay production on mires and meadows were prevailing during the medieval crisis. These activities significantly altered the concentration of transported organic carbon (OC) from the terrestrial ecosystem to inland waters. Burning and grazing decreased the terrestrial OC and water table, due to reduction of biomass, whereby burning has a greater effect. Biennial scything of mires for hay production reduced the biomass as well, hence resulting in a decreasing water table and peat accumulation. Even though two periods of open landscape has been present in the historical land utilization of Scandinavia, only the latest one resulted in a decreasing OC concentration in surface water in boreal lake. This indicates that especially the slash-and-burn cultivation and hay production on mires are very important components of altering the carbon storage in soils and peat due to lowering the terrestrial OC pool.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 14 p.
Keyword [en]
active pipe concept, hay production, medieval crisis, shieling, slash-and-burn cultivation
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-114929OAI: diva2:898742
Subject / course
Teoretisk Geoekologi
Educational program
Master's Programme in Geoecology
Available from: 2016-02-02 Created: 2016-01-29 Last updated: 2016-02-02Bibliographically approved

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Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences

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