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An assessment of twentieth century tree-cover changes on a southern Swedish peatland combining dendrochronoloy and aerial photograph analysis

Journal article
Authors Hans W. Linderholm
M. Leine
Published in Wetlands
Volume 24
Issue 2
Pages 357-363
ISSN 0277-5212
Publication year 2004
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 357-363
Language en
Links <Go to ISI>://000222485000009
Keywords tree-cover changes, peatland, dendroclimatology, aerial photograph analysis, climate, climate, quebec, growth, pine
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


In the twentieth century, there have been increases in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) coverage on peatlands in southern Sweden. In order to assess possible links to contemporary climate change; aerial photograph analysis and dendrochronology were combined to study recent pine cover changes at Anebymossen, a raised peat bog in south central Sweden. Multi-temporal analyses of three sets of panchromatic images from 1950 to 1993 showed a 30% increase of the marginal pine forest of the raised bog during that time, where a significant increase had occurred in the eastern part. Dendrochronological analyses were performed in two parts: the eastern part and the western part where the increase in pine coverage was considerably lower. The tree-ring growth patterns disclosed that a major event, most likely drainage, had occurred at Anebymossen in 1927, affecting tree growth at both sites. The effect of the drainage, which lowers the local ground-water table and hence promotes tree growth, was growth surges with a doubling of the annual increment rates. The effect was short lived in the western part, but continuous drainage in the eastern part caused growth enhancement until the beginning of the 1980s. We suggest that rather than being caused by climate change, the increase in pine coverage on Anebymossen was initiated by the considerable drainage in 1927. Since most peatlands in southern Sweden have been affected by anthropogenic activities, we suggest that it is difficult to make climatological interpretations of tree cover changes on peatlands using only aerial photograph analyses.

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