Subfossil bog pine as archive for ecosystem changes during the Mid-Holocene

Dendrochronological investigations on subfossil pine entombed in peat layers of former raised bogs in Lower Saxony (NW Germany) aim to study dynamics in bog development in response to local environmental conditions and large-scale regional changes in climate throughout the Holocene.

To date, 2000 samples have been collected from 36 locations in peat-harvesting areas of Lower Saxony in NW Germany. Cross dating with the Lower Saxony Bog Oak Chronology (LSBOC) resulted in five absolutely dated pine chronologies covering large parts of the period from 5600 BC to 2200 BC. It appears that  changes in growth pattern and population dynamics of subfossil pine mainly reflect changes in water table and that storm and fire events had only a minor effect. The fact that changes in growth patterns and population dynamics occurred simultaneously at different sites proves large-scale and distinct changes in climate as main driver of hydrology and hence the development of pines forest in peatland ecosystems.


  • Dr. H.H. Leuschner, J. Eckstein, Department of Palynology and Climate Dynamics, Albrecht-von-Haller-Institute, University of Goettingen, Germany