Tree-ring archives provide a critical proxy information about past climate variability and the ecosystem processes directly driven by the climate dynamics. The laboratory research focuses on understanding the dynamics of fire weather conditions and reconstruction of fire activity across Northern Europe.
Our ongoing project, supported by the Swedish Research Council FORMAS; deals with understanding of the climate conditions leading to the occurence of large fires in Sweden. Recent increase in the frequency of large forest fires in the country calls for better understanding of the possibility to predict such events. In particular, the 2014 year Sala fire in the Swedish province of Västmanland was a magnitude larger than any known fire in Sweden on record, with the total area burned being 150 km2 (Länsstyrelsen Västmanlands län 2014). For the first time in modern times a Swedish city (Norberg) was under threat of destruction by a wildfire. The Sala fire has highlighted the need for better understanding of natural and human-related factors causing the occurrence of large forest fires. Some of the most important questions in this context touch upon long-term frequency and environmental controls of such events. Our project will address these questions using a combination of larger scale systesys of dendrochronological reconstructions of forest fire activity, analyses of landscape properties, and bioclimatic modelling.
1. Project page (under construction)
A multi-century perspective of the Sala megafire: understanding risks for future large fires in Sweden
2. Earler, the laboratory was involved in a FORMAS-supported project aimed at developing a spatially explicit reconstruction of past summer precipitation extremes in southern and central Fennoscandia for the last 500 years, using precipitation sensitive Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and penduculate oak (Quercus robur) tree-ring chronologies.
Multi-proxy reconstruction of precipitation extremes and its relationship with forest fire activity in southern and central Fennoscandia since AD 1500.