Fossil charcoal quantification using manual and image analysis approaches

Halsall, Karen M ORCID: 0000-0001-8034-779X, Ellingsen, Vanessa M, Asplund, Johan, Bradshaw, Richard HW ORCID: 0000-0002-7331-2246 and Ohlson, Mikael
(2018) Fossil charcoal quantification using manual and image analysis approaches. HOLOCENE, 28 (8). pp. 1345-1353.

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<jats:p> Charcoal particles are evidence of past fire events and macro-charcoal particles have been shown to represent local fire events. There are several methods for the preparation and quantification of macro-charcoal particles, none of which have been universally accepted as standard. Very few studies compare methodological differences and no studies to date compare quantification by mass with quantification by volume using image analysis. Using three cores taken from a peatland located in SE Norway, we compare these two established methods using a generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) and a split-plot ANOVA test. We show that charcoal volume (image analysis method) was a better predictor of charcoal mass than charcoal particle number and the same size classes of charcoal as size class distributions were not spatially and temporally correlated. Although there is still a need for a common and unifying method, our results show that quantification of charcoal particles by image analysis including size (e.g. height in mm) and area (mm<jats:sup>2</jats:sup>)/volume (mm<jats:sup>3</jats:sup>) measurements provides more significant results in cross-site or multiple-site studies than quantifications based on particle number. This has implications for the interpretation of charcoal data from regional studies that are used to model drivers of wildfire activity and environmental change in boreal–temperate landscapes during the Holocene. </jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: charcoal analysis, charcoal area-volume relationships, charcoal mass, charcoal particle number, image analysis
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 23 May 2019 14:12
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 00:43
DOI: 10.1177/0959683618771488
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