Alpine bogs of southern Spain show human-induced environmental change superimposed on long-term natural variations
MetadataShow full item record
AuthorGarcía-Alix, Antonio; Jiménez-Espejo, Francisco José; Toney, Jaime L.; Jiménez Moreno, Gonzalo; Ramos-Román, María J.; Anderson, R. Scott; Ruano Roca, Patricia; Queralt, Ignasi; Delgado Huertas, Antonio; Kuroda, Junichiro
Nature Publishing Group
Alpine bogSpainSierra Nevada (Spain)EcosystemsGeochemicalEnvironmentalClimateHuman influenceGlobal change
García-Alix, A.; et al. Alpine bogs of southern Spain show human-induced environmental change superimposed on long-term natural variations. Scientific Reports, 7: 7439 (2017). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/47473]
SponsorshipThis study was supported by the project P11-RNM 7332 of the “Junta de Andalucía”, the projects CGL2013-47038-R and CGL2015-67130-C2-1-R of the “Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad of Spain and Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional FEDER” and the research group RNM0190 and RNM309 (Junta de Andalucía). A.G.-A. was also supported by a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship of the 7th Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration of the European Commission (NAOSIPUK. Grant Number: PIEF-GA-2012-623027) and by a Ramón y Cajal Fellowship RYC-2015-18966 of the Spanish Government (Ministerio de Economía y Competividad). J.L.T. was also supported by a Small Research Grant by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland and hosted the NAOSIPUK project (PIEF-GA-2012-623027). M. J. R-R acknowledges the PhD funding provided by Consejería de Economía, Innovación, Ciencia y Empleo de la Junta de Andalucía (P11-RNM 7332).
Recent studies have proved that high elevation environments, especially remote wetlands, are exceptional ecological sensors of global change. For example, European glaciers have retreated during the 20th century while the Sierra Nevada National Park in southern Spain witnessed the first complete disappearance of modern glaciers in Europe. Given that the effects of climatic fluctuations on local ecosystems are complex in these sensitive alpine areas, it is crucial to identify their long-term natural trends, ecological thresholds, and responses to human impact. In this study, the geochemical records from two adjacent alpine bogs in the protected Sierra Nevada National Park reveal different sensitivities and long-term environmental responses, despite similar natural forcings, such as solar radiation and the North Atlantic Oscillation, during the late Holocene. After the Industrial Revolution both bogs registered an independent, abrupt and enhanced response to the anthropogenic forcing, at the same time that the last glaciers disappeared. The different response recorded at each site suggests that the National Park and land managers of similar regions need to consider landscape and environmental evolution in addition to changing climate to fully understand implications of climate and human influence.