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Anthropogenic and climate impacts on subarctic forests in the Nain region, Nunatsiavut: Dendroecological and historical approaches

Abstract : Several recent dendrochronological, macrofossil and palynological studies have surveyed modern spruce forests at multiple locations in the Nain region of coastal Nunatsiavut (north-central Labrador) in order to reconstruct past forest composition, growth rates, species diversity and harvesting patterns. The present paper synthesizes original and previously collected data to evaluate the extent to which the dynamics of the region's spruce forests over the past five centuries have been related to anthropogenic impacts. In three key case studies, Picea growth release events demonstrate multiple isolated forest disturbances prior to the late 19th century. In general, these events correspond to the local human settlement history rather than to regional climatic trends, suggesting that ongoing human impacts on the forest extend as far back as the 17th century. Disturbance regimes accelerated by ca 1875 and afterward in all of the study sites. This increase in forest disturbance corresponds to increased demands for wood triggered by socio-economic changes experienced by the region's Inuit and Settler communities. Ongoing surveys demonstrate the presence of markers of human exploitation of forests throughout the study region, and especially in coastal locations, suggesting that anthropogenic impacts are in fact generalised and not limited to specific areas of recent settlement.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03280360
Contributor : Laurent Jonchère Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Sunday, August 7, 2022 - 8:30:11 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, August 7, 2022 - 8:30:12 AM

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Natasha Roy, James Woollett, Najat Bhiry, Isabel Lemus-Lauzon, Ann Delwaide, et al.. Anthropogenic and climate impacts on subarctic forests in the Nain region, Nunatsiavut: Dendroecological and historical approaches. Ecoscience, Ecoscience, 2021, 28 (3-4), pp.361-376. ⟨10.1080/11956860.2021.1932294⟩. ⟨hal-03280360⟩

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