Peatland initiation through time and space
Peatlands comprise 50 – 70% of all global wetlands, making them the most prevalent wetland type. The tremendous losses in peatland surface area, and ongoing threats to their existence in Europe and elsewhere, pose the urgency to accumulate the knowledge that is contained in the peat archives. One of the biggest changes recorded in peat deposits, the transition to peat growth itself, is underexposed in scientific research. The transition from dryland to wetland (and to peatland) represents however a huge landscape change, with major impacts for landscape functioning, ecosystem services and human-landscape interactions. In this thesis I aim to reconstruct peat initiation and lateral expansion in the coversand landscape of the Northwest European mainland, and to develop the required methodological tools, which can be applied irrespective of the case study region.