About the Project
There is an urgent need to improve current understanding of fire in global peatlands and to examine its spatio-temporal variability. This project will quantify the long-term dynamic of peatland fire at the biome and global scale and how peatland fires have responded to climate change and human impacts through time. This work will establish baselines for fire in peatlands across different ecosystem types and biomes through analysis of charcoal data.
The project will involve the generation of new primary charcoal data from peatlands, in addition to a large meta-analysis of existing data at the global scale. The project has particular relevance for (1) research groups making projections of future climate change, based on future projections of GHG emissions; (2) local people relying on these environments for water and food resources; and (3) policy makers/advisors seeking to manage peatlands as C stores and habitats.
Hypotheses to be tested:
(H1) Peatland fires have increased over the last ~100 years;
(H2) Peatland wildfire in the Northern Hemisphere has expanded northwards over the last ~100 years;
(H3) The temporal pattern of peatland wildfires during the pre-industrial Holocene broadly reflect natural Holocene climate variability;
(H4) Tropical peatlands are not significantly affected by natural (non-anthropogenic) wildfires;
(H5) Tundra peatlands are not significantly affected by natural (non-anthropogenic) wildfires.
The student will be provided with research training in laboratory analysis, peatland ecology and palaeoecology, GIS, Programming using R, fieldwork, database construction and management, and academic publishing.
More project details are available here: https://www.quadrat.ac.uk/projects/understanding-the-spatio-temporal-dynamics-of-global-peatland-fire/
How to apply: https://www.quadrat.ac.uk/how-to-apply/
Please note: applications should be submitted directly to QUADRAT and not to Queen’s University Belfast.
Before applying please check full funding and eligibility information: View Website
 Flannigan et al (2009) Glob Change Biol 15, 549-560.
 Turetsky et al (2004) Global Biogeochem Cy 18, 1-9.
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