A Holocene landscape dynamic multiproxy reconstruction: How do interactions between fire and insect outbreaks shape an ecosystem over long time scales?
Lionel Navarro, Anne-Élizabeth Harvey, Adam Ali, Yves Bergeron, Hubert Morin.
At a multi-millennial scale, various disturbances shape boreal forest stand mosaics and the distribution of species. Despite the importance of such disturbances, there is a lack of studies focused on the long-term dynamics of spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana (Clem.)) (SBW) outbreaks and the interaction of insect outbreaks and fire. Here, we combine macrocharcoal and plant macrofossils with a new proxy-lepidopteran scalesto describe the Holocene ecology around a boreal lake. Lepidopteran scales turned out to be a more robust proxy of insect outbreaks than the traditional proxies such as cephalic head capsules and feces. We identified 87 significant peaks in scale abundance over the last 10 000 years. These results indicate that SBW outbreaks were more frequent over the Holocene than suggested by previous studies. Charcoal accumulation rates match the established fire history in eastern Canada: A more fire-prone early and late Holocene and reduced fire frequency during the mid-Holocene. Although on occasion, both fire and insect outbreaks were coeval, our results show a generally inverse relationship between fire frequency and insect outbreaks over the Holocene. © 2018 Navarro et al.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.