EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Wet in the Anthropocene – a report of exceptionally stable hydrological conditions in a small bog over the last 1500 years

Katarzyna Marcisz1, Piotr Kołaczek1, Mariusz Gałka2, Andrei-Cosmin Diaconu3, and Mariusz Lamentowicz1
Katarzyna Marcisz et al.
  • 1Climate Change Ecology Research Unit, Institute of Geoecology and Geoinformation, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland (
  • 2Department of Geobotany and Plant Ecology, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland
  • 3Department of Geology, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Over the last few hundred years peatlands worldwide are experiencing substantial drying that is lowering their carbon storage potential. However, our high-resolution reconstruction of hydrological changes in a small Sphagnum-dominated peatland show that we can still observe healthy bogs in the fragmented landscape of Europe (Marcisz et al., 2020). We investigated last 1500 years history of a bog located in a young glacial landscape in Central Eastern Europe (NE Poland) using a multi-proxy approach and high-resolution dating. Our reconstruction showed a rare case of hydrological stability in the peatland that did not experience any dry shift over the last 1500 years, allowing for an undisturbed growth of Sphagnum, stable microbial communities, and high peat accumulation rates. High water tables (>12 cm depth to water table) influenced high resilience of the bog which was not affected by disturbances (deforestations, grazing or farming). Our palaeoecological data suggest that nature conservation practices which target high water tables are essential to maintain peatlands as a sink and not as a source of carbon in the future, supporting an earlier study that concluded a ca. 11-12 cm water table depth as a target number for peatland protection (Lamentowicz et al., 2019).


Lamentowicz, M., Gałka, M., Marcisz, K., Słowiński, M., Kajukało-Drygalska, K., Druguet Dayras, M., Jassey, V.E.J., 2019. Unveiling tipping points in long-term ecological records from Sphagnum-dominated peatlands. Biology Letters 15, 20190043.

Marcisz, K., Kołaczek, P., Gałka, M., Diaconu, A.-C., Lamentowicz, M., 2020. Exceptional hydrological stability of a Sphagnum-dominated peatland over the late Holocene. Quaternary Science Reviews 231, 106180.

How to cite: Marcisz, K., Kołaczek, P., Gałka, M., Diaconu, A.-C., and Lamentowicz, M.: Wet in the Anthropocene – a report of exceptionally stable hydrological conditions in a small bog over the last 1500 years, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12192,, 2021.

Corresponding presentation materials formerly uploaded have been withdrawn.