Peer Reviewed Journal Articles:
Beale CM, Courtney Mustaphi CJ, Morrison TA, Archibald S, Anderson TM, Dobson AP, Donaldson JE, Hempson GP, Probert J, Parr CL. In press Jan 2018. Pyrodiversity interacts with rainfall to increase bird and mammal richness in African savannas. Ecology Letters.
Githumbi E, Kariuki R, Shoemaker A, Courtney Mustaphi C, Chuhila M, Richer S, Lane P, Marchant R. 2018. Pollen, people and place: paleoenvironmental, archaeological, and ecological perspectives on vegetation change in the Amboseli landscape, Kenya. Frontiers in Earth Science 5 Article 113: 1-26. DOI: 10.3389/feart.2017.00113
Marchant R, Richer S, Capitani C, Courtney-Mustaphi C, Prendergast M, Stump D, Boles O, Lane P, Wynne-Jones S, Ferro Vázquez C, Wright D, Boivin N, Lang C, Kay A, Phelps L, Fuller D, Widgren M, Punwong P, Lejju J, Gaillard-Lemdahl M-J, Morrison KD, Kaplan J, Benard J, Crowther A, Cuní-Sanchez A, de Cort G, Deere N, Ekblom A, Farmer J, Finch J, Gillson L, Githumbi E, Kabora T, Kariuki R, Kinyanjui R, Kyazike E, Muiruri V, Mumbi C, Muthoni R, Muzuka A, Ndiema E, Nzabandora C, Olago D, Onjala D, Pas Schrijver A, Petek N, Platts PJ, Rucina S, Shoemaker A, Thornton-Barnett S, van der Plas G, Watson L, Williamson D. Accepted Dec 2017. Drivers and trajectories of land cover change in East Africa: human and environmental interactions from 6000 years ago to present. Earth-Science Reviews.
Githumbi EN*, Courtney Mustaphi CJ*, Yun KJ, Muiruri V, Rucina SM, Marchant R. Accepted Dec 2017. Late Holocene wetland transgression and 500 years of vegetation and fire variability in the semi-arid Amboseli landscape, southern Kenya. Ambio – A Journal of the Human Environment. *equal contribution
Pfeifer M, Andrew B, Calders K, Cayuela L, Courtney-Mustaphi C, Cuní-Sanchez A, Deere N, Denu D, Gonsamo A, Gonzalez de Tanago J, Hayward R, Lau A, Macia MJ, Marchant R, Ledo A, Marshall AR, Olivier P, Paine CET, Pellikka P, Hamidu S, Shirima D, Trevithick R, Wedeux B, Wheeler C, Woodgate W, Platts PJ. 2018. Tropical forest canopies and their relationships with climate and disturbance – results from a global dataset of consistent field-based measurements. Forest Ecosystems 5: 7. doi: 10.1186/s40663-017-0118-7
Seki HA, Shirima DD, Courtney Mustaphi CJ, Marchant R, Munishi PKT. In press 2017. The impact of land use and land cover change on biodiversity within and adjacent Kibasira Swamp in Kilombero valley, Tanzania. African Journal of Ecology. doi: 10.1111/aje.12488
Courtney Mustaphi CJ, Gajewski K, Marchant R, Rosqvist G. 2017. A late Holocene pollen record from proglacial Oblong Tarn, Mount Kenya. PLOS One 12(9): e0184925. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0184925 [Data available from open access Harvard Dataverse]
Marchant R, Courtney-Mustaphi C, Githumbi E. 2017. Entangled ecosystem-people-animal interactions: perspectives from East African savannas. Past Global Changes Magazine (PAGES), 25(2), 80–81. DOI:10.22498/pages.25.2.80
Davis EL, Courtney-Mustaphi C, Pisaric MFJ. Accepted in press 2017. Fire histories and futures of Columbian and Rocky Mountain forests, western Canada. Western Geography.
Hempson G, Parr C, Archibald S, Anderson T, Courtney Mustaphi, CJ, Dobson A, Donaldson J, Morrison T, Probert J, Beale C. Accepted July 2017. Continent-level drivers of African pyrodiversity. Ecography. [Data available from Dryad]
Courtney Mustaphi CJ, and Pisaric MFJ. Accepted in press 2017. Forest vegetation change and disturbance interactions over the past 7500 years at Sasquatch Lake, Columbia Mountains, western Canada. Quaternary International.
Hawthorne D*, Courtney Mustaphi CJ*, Aleman JC*, Blarquez O, Colombaroli D, Daniau A-L, Marlon JR, Power M, Vannière B, Han Y, Hantson S, Kehrwald N, Magi B, Yue X, Carcaillet C, Marchant R, Ayodele O, Githumbi EN, Muriuki RM. Accepted in press. Global Modern Charcoal Dataset (GMCD): a tool for exploring proxy-fire linkages and spatial patterns of biomass burning. Quaternary International.
Patterson RT, Crann C, Cutts J, Courtney Mustaphi CJ, Nasser N, Macumber A, Galloway J, Swindles G, Falck H. 2017. New occurrences of the White River Ash (east lobe) in Subarctic Canada and utility for estimating freshwater reservoir effect in lake sediment archives. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 477, 1–9.
Sánchez Goñi, M. F., Desprat, S., Daniau, A.-L., Bassinot, F. C., Polanco-Martínez, J. M., Harrison, S. P., Allen, J. R. M., Anderson, R. S., Behling, H., Bonnefille, R., Burjachs, F., Carrión, J. S., Cheddadi, R., Clark, J. S., Combourieu-Nebout, N., Courtney-Mustaphi, C. J., Debusk, G. H., Dupont, L. M., Finch, J. M., Fletcher, W. J., Giardini, M., González, C., Gosling, W. D., Grigg, L. D., Grimm, E. C., Hayashi, R., Helmens, K., Heusser, L. E., Hill, T., Hope, G., Huntley, B., Igarashi, Y., Irino, T., Jacobs, B., Jiménez-Moreno, G., Kawai, S., Kershaw, P., Kumon, F., Lawson, I. T., Ledru, M.-P., Lézine, A.-M., Liew, P. M., Magri, D., Marchant, R., Margari, V., Mayle, F. E., McKenzie, M., Moss, P., Müller, S., Müller, U. C., Naughton, F., Newnham, R. M., Oba, T., Pérez-Obiol, R., Pini, R., Ravazzi, C., Roucoux, K. H., Rucina, S. M., Scott, L., Takahara, H., Tzedakis, P. C., Urrego, D. H., van Geel, B., Valencia, B. G., Vandergoes, M. J., Vincens, A., Whitlock, C. L., Willard, D. A., and Yamamoto, M. 2017. The ACER pollen and charcoal database: a global resource to document vegetation and fire response to abrupt climate changes during the last glacial period. Earth System Science Data 9, 679–695. doi: 10.5194/essd-9-679-2017. [Data available from PANGEA]
Outridge PM, Sanei H, Courtney Mustaphi CJ, Gajewski K. 2017. Holocene climate change influences on trace metal and organic matter geochemistry in the sediments of an Arctic lake over 7,000 years. Applied Geochemistry 78, 35–48.
Finch J, Marchant R, Courtney Mustaphi CJ. 2017. Ecosystem change in the South Pare Mountain bloc, Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania. The Holocene 27 (6), 796–810. [ScienceDaily summary]
Davis EL, Courtney Mustaphi CJ, Gall A, Pisaric MFJ, Vermaire JC, Moser KA. 2016. Determinants of fire activity during the last 3500 years at a wildland-urban interface, Alberta, Canada. Quaternary Research 86(3), 247–259.
Marlon, J. R., Kelly, R,. Daniau, A.-L., Vannière, B., Power, M. J., Bartlein, P., Higuera, P., Blarquez, O., Brewer, S., Brücher, T., Feurdean, A., Gil-Romera, G., Iglesias, V., Maezumi, S.Y., Magi, B., Courtney Mustaphi, C. J., Zhihai, T. 2016. Reconstructions of biomass burning from sediment charcoal records to improve data-model comparisons. Biogeosciences 13, 3225–3244.
Githumbi, E, Courtney Mustaphi, C, Marchant R. 2016. Holocene ecosystem, social and landscape dynamics in East Africa. Quaternary International 404(B): 199–200. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2015.08.175
Courtney Mustaphi, CJ, Githumbi, EN, Shotter, LR, Rucina, SM, Marchant, R. 2016. Subfossil statoblasts of Lophopodella capensis (Sollas, 1908) (Bryozoa: Phylactolaemata: Lophopodidae) in the Upper Pleistocene and Holocene sediments of a montane wetland, Eastern Mau Forest, Kenya. African Invertebrates 7(1): 39–52. doi: 10.3897/afrinvertebr.57.8191. [Data available]
Marlon, J. R., Kelly, R,. Daniau, A.-L., Vannière, B., Power, M. J., Bartlein, P., Higuera, P., Blarquez, O., Brewer, S., Brücher, T., Feurdean, A., Gil-Romera, G., Iglesias, V., Maezumi, S.Y., Magi, B., Courtney Mustaphi, C. J., Zhihai, T. 2015. Reconstructions of biomass burning from sediment charcoal records to improve data-model comparisons. Biogeosciences Discussions 12 (22) pp.18571–18623. doi:10.5194/bgd-12-18571-2015, 2015
Courtney Mustaphi, C.J., Davis, E.L., Perreault, J.T., Pisaric, M.F.J. 2015. Spatial variability of recent macroscopic charcoal deposition in a small montane lake and implications for reconstruction of watershed-scale fire regimes. Journal of Paleolimnology 54 (1): 71–86. DOI: 10.1007/s10933-015-9838-2 [Video summary]
Coleman, K.A., Palmer, M.J., Korosi, J.B., Kokelj, S.V., Jackson, K., Hargan, K., Courtney Mustaphi, C.J., Thienpont, J.R., Kimpe, L.E., Blais, J.M., Pisaric, M.F.J., and Smol, J.P. 2015. Tracking the impacts of recent warming and thaw of permafrost peatlands on aquatic ecosystems: a multi-proxy approach using remote sensing and lake sediments. Boreal Environment Research 20: 363–377.
Courtney Mustaphi, C.J. and Pisaric M.F.J. 2014. A classification for macroscopic charcoal morphologies found in Holocene lacustrine sediments. Progress in Physical Geography 38: 734–754. doi:10.1177/0309133314548886 [Data link]
Morris, J., Courtney Mustaphi, C.J., Carter, V., Watt, J., Derr, K., Pisaric, M.F.J., Anderson, R.S., and Brunelle, A. 2014. Do bark beetle remains in lake sediments correspond to severe outbreaks? A review of published and ongoing research. Quaternary International 387: 72–86. DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2014.03.022
Courtney Mustaphi, C.J. and Pisaric M.F.J. 2014. Holocene climate-fire-vegetation interactions at a subalpine watershed in southeastern British Columbia, Canada. Quaternary Research 81(2): 228–239. DOI: 10.1016/j.yqres.2013.12.002
Courtney Mustaphi, C.J. and Pisaric M.F.J. 2013. Varying influence of climate and aspect as controls of montane forest fire regimes during the late Holocene, south-eastern British Columbia, Canada. Journal of Biogeography 40(10): 1983–1996. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12143
Vermaire, J.C., Pisaric, M.F.J., Thienpont, J.R., Courtney Mustaphi, C.J., Kokelj, S.V., and Smol, J.P. 2013. Arctic climate warming and sea ice declines lead to increased storm surge activity. Geophysical Research Letters 40(7): 1386–1390. DOI: 10.1002/grl.50191
- Selected as an Editor’s Research Highlight: Colin Schultz. 16 April 2013. Arctic climate warming leads to increased storm surge activity. EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union 94 (16): 156. DOI: 10.1002/2013EO160006
Courtney Mustaphi, C.J., Gajewski, K. 2013. Holocene sediments from a coastal lake on northern Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 50(5): 564–575. Doi:10.1139/cjes-2012-0143
- Read a review by CO2science.org
Other peer-reviewed articles:
Courtney Mustaphi, CJ, Marchant, R. 2016. A database of radiocarbon dates for palaeoenvironmental research in eastern Africa. Open Quaternary, 2: 3, pp. 1–7. [Map and access to data] [Data at Harvard Dataverse] [R code]
Kehrwald, N.M., Aleman, J.C., Coughlan, M., Courtney Mustaphi, C.J., Githumbi, E.N., Magi, B.I., Marlon, J.R., Power, M.J. 2016. One thousand years of fires: integrating proxy and model data. Frontiers of Biogeography 8(1): 155-159.
Courtney Mustaphi, C J, Shoemaker, A.C., Githumbi, E.N., Kariuki, R., Muriuki, R.M., Rucina, S., Marchant, R. 2015. Historical ecology perspectives of changes in Amboseli, Kenya. GLP Newsletter – Newsletter of the Global Land Project, Issue 12, November 2015: pp 26-29. [Link to full issue]
Courtney Mustaphi, C J, Gedalof, Z, Daniels, L D and Pisaric, M F J. 2015. Paleoecological and Sedimentological Data from: “A Classification for Macroscopic Charcoal Morphologies Found in Holocene Lacustrine Sediments”. Open Quaternary, 1: 5, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/oq.
Courtney Mustaphi, CJ, Rucina, SM, Marchant, R. 2014. Training in emerging palaeoenvironmental approaches to researchers on the dynamics of East African ecosystems. Frontiers of Biogeography volume 6 issue 4, 169-172. [PDF]
Courtney Mustaphi, C.J. 2013. 10 cents 1967: Making the difference. Moneta – A Publication of the Ottawa Numismatic Society 4(6) August-September-October: 244-247.
Courtney Mustaphi, C.J. 2013. 10 cents 1967: Faire la distinction [French]. Moneta – A Publication of the Ottawa Numismatic Society 4(6) Aout-Septembre-Octobre: 244-247.
Liz Storer, Anna Shoemaker, Annemiek Pas Schrijver, Geert W. van der Plas, Colin J. Courtney Mustaphi (eds.). 2017. Field diary. Issue 2 Mar 2017. 45pp.
van der Plas, G., Githumbi, E.N., Courtney Mustaphi, C.J. 2016. Life of a pollen grain. In: Land and People. Volume 1, January 2016. pp 24-25. Printed at: Tiskarna Radovljica, Slovenia. ISBN: 978-0-9573771-5-8 [Link to full issue] DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2296.3609
Esther N. Githumbi, Rebecca Kariuki, Colin J. Courtney Mustaphi, Rebecca Muriuki, Stephen M. Rucina, Rob Marchant. 2015. Recent environmental changes in Eastern Mau and Amboseli, Kenya. BIEA 2014-2015 annual report, pp 22.
Annemiek Pas Schrijver, Geert W. van der Plas, Colin J. Courtney Mustaphi (eds.). 2015. Field diary. Issue 1 Jul 2015. 17pp.
Esther N. Githumbi, Colin J. Courtney Mustaphi, Rob Marchant. 2014. Natural and anthropogenic causes of environmental change in the Amboseli and Mau Forest regions. BIEA 2013-2014 annual report, pp 11-12.
Courtney Mustaphi, C.J., Githumbi, E., Mutua, J., Muriuki, R.M., Rucina, S.M., Marchant, R. 2014. Ongoing sedimentological and palaeoecological investigations at Nyabuiyabui wetland, Kiptunga Forest Block, Eastern Mau Forest, Nakuru District, Kenya. Report to the Mau Forest Conservation Office, Kenya Forest Service, and the National Museums of Kenya Palaeobotany and Palynology Section. REAL contribution 002. 4 May 2014. 29 p.[PDF]
This report summarizes fieldwork done by members of the REAL project who are studying wetlands across Kenya to understand how these systems have evolved through time. We employ sedimentological and palaeoecological approaches to physically characterise the wetland basins and to gain a deeper understanding of how these wetlands have changed in response to past variability of climate and human land use practices. Multiple wetlands exist within the Mau Forests of Kenya that are ecologically and developmentally important to the region. Hydrologically, these swamps form significant surficial reservoirs of water that drain into extensive channel networks across East Africa and are an important component of the high elevation ‘water towers’ that are crucial to water management and the political imagining of nationally-important water resources. Historically, these wetlands have been key landscape features serving wildlife, livestock, and human populations with water particularly during dry periods. Few paleoenvironmental studies have been produced on the Mau Escarpment. The purpose of this study is to investigate these wetlands and examine how these ecosystems have responded to Late Quaternary climatic variability, large wildlife herbivory, and changes in human land use patterns. Continued scientific study is needed due to the diversity of wetland ecosystems across this landscape with strong environmental gradients and to analyse the varying spatial controls influencing the environmental conditions. This is especially true considering the multiple, recent, rapid and intense landscape transformations that have occurred. Some of these transformations include the industrial management of plantation forests, channelisation of wetlands, sediment infilling, road construction, increasing human populations, and conversion of forest to farmland. This document reports ongoing scientific study of the physical wetland systems and how the sites have evolved over geological time scales in response to climatic and land-use behavioural changes.
Courtney Mustaphi, C.J., Githumbi, E., Shoemaker, A., Degefa, A.Z., Petek, N., van der Plas, G., Muriuki, R.M., Rucina, S.M., Marchant, R. 2014. Ongoing sedimentological and palaeoecological investigations at Lielerai Kimana and Ormakau Swamps, Kajiado District, Kenya. A report to the local authorities of Kimana and Namelok, Olive Branch Mission Africa Operations, and the National Museums of Kenya Palaeobotany and Palynology Section. REAL contribution 001. 29 April, 2014. 32 p.
This report summarizes fieldwork done by members of the REAL project who are studying wetlands in Kajiado District, southern Kenya, to understand how these systems have evolved through time. We employ sedimentological and palaeoecological approaches to physically characterise the swamp basins and to gain a deeper understanding of how these swamps have changed in response to past variability of climate and human land use practices. Multiple wetlands exist upon the semi-arid landscape of southern Kenya within the boundaries of the previous extent of Amboseli Lake that are ecologically and developmentally important to the region. Hydrologically, these swamps are recharged through groundwater flows from Mt Kilimanjaro, which are sensitive to climatic change and extraction pressure by nearby populations. Historically, these wetlands have been key landscape features serving wildlife, livestock, and human populations with water particularly during droughts. The multiple stakeholders within the area have vested and often competing interests regarding how these critical ecosystems should be managed in a sustainable framework for the future of these communities. Previous studies have shown that these wetlands are sensitive to late Holocene climatic variability, large wildlife herbivory, and changes in human land use patterns. Continued scientific study is needed due to the diversity of wetland ecosystems across this landscape and varying spatial controls influencing the environmental conditions. This is especially true considering the multiple, recent, rapid and intense landscape transformations that have occurred. Some of these transformations include the creation of societal and physical enclosures around wetlands, increasing human population, land subdivisions and tenure changes, fluctuations within the conservation and tourism industry, drainage for conversion to croplands and increases in irrigated agriculture wildlife and livestock population changes in the Amboseli basin, poaching, and declining wet montane forest cover on the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. This document reports ongoing scientific study of the physical wetland systems and how the sites have evolved over geological time scales in response to climatic and land-use behavioural changes.
Courtney Mustaphi, C.J. 2013. An Assessment of Holocene Fire Regime Controls in Southeastern British Columbia, Canada. Foothills Research Institute research update. [PDF LINK]
Lori D. Daniels, Ze’ev Gedalof, Michael F.J. Pisaric, Colin J. Courtney Mustaphi, Eric Da Silva, Helene Marcoux, Vesta Mather, John H. Nesbitt, Eugenie Paul-Limoges, Joelle Perreault, Courtney Steele. 2011. Historic climate-fire-vegetation interactions of the west versus east Kootenays: implications of climate change and fire suppression. Report to Tembec Industries, R.W. Consulting Inc., B.A. Blackwell and Associates, BC Ministry of Natural Resource Operations, and BC Parks. July 2011. 33p.
Lori D. Daniels, Ze’ev Gedalof, Michael F.J. Pisaric, Colin J. Courtney Mustaphi, Eric Da Silva, Helene Marcoux, Vesta Mather, John H Nesbitt, Eugenie Paul-Limoges, Joelle Perreault, Courtney Steele. 2011. Historic climate-fire-vegetation interactions of the West versus East Kootenays: Implications of climate change and fire suppression. NSERC Strategic Report 2011. 57p.
CARD2.0 – radiocarbon dates (East Africa; lake DV09, Devon Island; Pyatts Lake, Sasquatch Lake, NEL01, NEL03, British Columbia).
Courtney Mustaphi, Colin; Gajewski, Konrad; Marchant, Rob; Rosqvist, Gunhild, 2017, “Radiocarbon dates, sedimentology, and pollen counts from the late Holocene sediments of Oblong Tarn, Mount Kenya”, doi:10.7910/DVN/BBDYUZ, Harvard Dataverse, V1. [R code]
Davis, Emma; Courtney Mustaphi, Colin J.; Gall, Amber; Pisaric, Michael F. J.; Vermaire, Jesse C.; Moser, Katrina A., 2016. Radiocarbon dating, macroscopic charcoal counts, pollen counts, and tree-establishment data from Little Trefoil Lake, Alberta, Canada. doi:10.7910/DVN/6O5BOI, Harvard Dataverse, V1.
Courtney Mustaphi, CJ. 2016. Radiocarbon dates from eastern Africa in the CARD2.0 format. Harvard Dataverse, V5.
Courtney Mustaphi, CJ. 2015. Paleoecological and sedimentological data from: “A classification for macroscopic charcoal morphologies found in Holocene lacustrine sediments”. Harvard Dataverse, V1.
Data from lake NEL01, British Columbia, Canada (Courtney Mustaphi et al, 2015 JoPL).
Data from lake NEL03, British Columbia, Canada (Courtney Mustaphi and Pisaric, 2014 QR).
Data from Lake DV09, Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada (Courtney Mustaphi and Gajewski, 2013 CJES).
Contributions to research networks:
PAGES Global Paleofire Working Group
PAGES Ocean2K Working Group
Aleman, J.C., Hennebelle, A., Vannière, B., Blarquez, O., the Global Paleofire Working Group. 2018. Sparking New Opportunities for Charcoal-Based Fire History Reconstructions. Fire 1(1), 7. DOI: 10.3390/fire1010007
Tierney, J. E., Abram, N. J., Anchukaitis, K. J., Evans, M. N., Giry, C., Kilbourne, K. H., … & Zinke, J. (2015). Tropical sea surface temperatures for the past four centuries reconstructed from coral archives. Paleoceanography, 30(3), 226-252.
Courtney Mustaphi, CJ. 2013. A Landscape-Scale Assessment of Holocene Fire Regime Controls in South-Eastern British Columbia, Canada. Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre, Department of Earth Sciences, Carleton University, Canada. Supervisor: Michael Pisaric, Co-Supervisor: R. Timothy Patterson. [Supplemental Files – raw data]
Courtney Mustaphi, CJ. 2009. Analysis of Laminated Sediments from Lake DV09, Northern Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada. Department of Geography, University of Ottawa, Canada. Supervisor: Konrad Gajewski.
C. Courtney Mustaphi; R. Marchant; E. Githumbi; V. Muiruri; S. Rucina; S. Richer; P. Lane; A. Shoemaker. 2017. Wetland vegetation dynamics in he semi-arid Amboseli landscape of southern Kenya. PAGES OSM May 9-13 2017, Zaragoza, Spain.
Courtney Mustaphi, CJ; Deere, N; Githumbi, E; Marchant, R. 2014. Fire disturbance regimes and vegetation interactions in East Africa during the Late Quaternary [updated]. South East Asia Rainforest Research Programme (SEARRP) – Royal Society, London, UK, October 6-7, 2014. [PDF] [JPEG]
Courtney Mustaphi, CJ; Deere, N; Githumbi, E; Marchant, R. 2014. Fire disturbance regimes and vegetation interactions in East Africa during the Late Quaternary. Open PAGES Focus 4 Workshop Human-Climate-Ecosystem Interactions, University of Leuven, Belgium, February 3-7, 2014.
Githumbi, E; Courtney Mustaphi, CJ; Deere, N; Marchant, R. 2014.Long Term Ecosystem and Landscape Dynamics in East Africa. University of York Environment Department Post Graduate Conference. York, UK. February, 20-21, 2014.
Human use of fire on the landscape has influenced vegetation composition, biomass abundance, and biodiversity in many ecosystems worldwide. Fire activity also has implications for carbon cycling and can result in a net carbon sink or source depending on the alteration of fire regimes and vegetation changes. The major controls of fire activity over centennial to millennial scales are dynamic and are further influenced by human land use and behavioral patterns and have shaped the modern ecosystems. It is often difficult to quantify the anthropogenic influence on biomass burning because the relative importance of natural controls of fire vary over multiple spatiotemporal scales and the analysis of detailed paleoecological data and human cultural information is necessary. Land use and burning practices have changed throughout the Holocene in East Africa and over the coming months we will be synthesizing multiple palaeoecological records of vegetation and fire activity to begin to disentangle the human influences on the environment. Modern biomass burning activity and rapid vegetation changes will be quantified using moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) land cover grids (500-m resolution).
Multiple records of biomass burning activity are needed to understand the natural controls on fire, such as climate, fuel types and abundance, and topography. The rise of pastoralist societies around 4000 cal yr BP represented a major shift in human impacts on vegetation, fuels, and ignition patterns. By analyzing the natural variability alongside archeological and historical data on human societies it may be possible to characterize the ecological impacts of human burning activities.
Demographic changes impacted the environment variably over space and reflected the intensity of land use and the values of those societies. Synthesis of multiple records of biomass burning can be used to understand the broad-scale controls of fire activity. Comparative analysis of fire records at sites across environmental gradients provides insights into the relative importance of natural and anthropogenic controls of fire. Examination of natural and anthropogenic variability on vegetation and disturbance regimes helps us understand the evolution of human-environmental interactions and the processes that have led to the present landscapes. This information is critical to developing sustainable trajectories for land management policy and conservation efforts crucial to the future of East African landscapes experiencing development pressure and rapid climate change.
In The Media:
27 January 2015. Kazakh TV Kazakh-UK Sustainable Cities Workshop.
MacDonald, Sally. 2012. Scientists sample lakes to tell forests’ history. Daily Times [Trail, BC, Canada] 15 August 2012: A16.
MacDonald, Sally. 2012. Scientists sample lakes to tell forests’ history. Daily Townsman [Cranbrook, BC, Canada] 14 August 2012: 3.
Newman, J., Anand, M., Henry, H., Hunt, S., Gedalof, Z. 2011. Climate Change Biology. CAB International – Gutenberg Press, Malta. 289pp. [Featured in a photo on page 7].