Floating islands mysteriously moving around on lakes were described by several Latin authors almost two millennia ago. These fascinating ecosystems, known as free-floating mires, have been extensively investigated from ecological, hydrological and management points of view, but there have been no detailed studies of their rates of accumulation of organic matter (OM), organic carbon (OC) and total nitrogen (TN). We have collected a peat core 4 m long from the free-floating island of Posta Fibreno, a relic mire in Central Italy. This is the thickest accumulation of peat ever found in a free-floating mire, yet it has formed during the past seven centuries and represents the greatest accumulation rates, at both decadal and centennial timescale, of OM (0.63 vs. 0.37 kg/m(2)/yr), OC (0.28 vs. 0.18 kg/m(2)/yr) and TN (3.7 vs. 6.1 g/m(2)/yr) ever reported for coeval peatlands. The anomalously high accretion rates, obtained using (14)C age dating, were confirmed using (210)Pb and (137)Cs: these show that the top 2 m of Sphagnum-peat has accumulated in only ~100 years. As an environmental archive, Posta Fibreno offers a temporal resolution which is 10x greater than any terrestrial peat bog, and promises to provide new insight into environmental changes occurring during the Anthropocene.

Highly anomalous accumulation rates of C and N recorded by a relic, free-floating peatland in Central Italy

ZACCONE, CLAUDIO
;
2017-01-01

Abstract

Floating islands mysteriously moving around on lakes were described by several Latin authors almost two millennia ago. These fascinating ecosystems, known as free-floating mires, have been extensively investigated from ecological, hydrological and management points of view, but there have been no detailed studies of their rates of accumulation of organic matter (OM), organic carbon (OC) and total nitrogen (TN). We have collected a peat core 4 m long from the free-floating island of Posta Fibreno, a relic mire in Central Italy. This is the thickest accumulation of peat ever found in a free-floating mire, yet it has formed during the past seven centuries and represents the greatest accumulation rates, at both decadal and centennial timescale, of OM (0.63 vs. 0.37 kg/m(2)/yr), OC (0.28 vs. 0.18 kg/m(2)/yr) and TN (3.7 vs. 6.1 g/m(2)/yr) ever reported for coeval peatlands. The anomalously high accretion rates, obtained using (14)C age dating, were confirmed using (210)Pb and (137)Cs: these show that the top 2 m of Sphagnum-peat has accumulated in only ~100 years. As an environmental archive, Posta Fibreno offers a temporal resolution which is 10x greater than any terrestrial peat bog, and promises to provide new insight into environmental changes occurring during the Anthropocene.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1001432
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