David W. Beilman

David W. Beilman
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa | UH Manoa · Department of Geography

PhD

About

75
Publications
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4,739
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Publications

Publications (75)
Article
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During the last glacial–interglacial cycle, Arctic biotas experienced substantial climatic changes, yet the nature, extent and rate of their responses are not fully understood1–8. Here we report a large-scale environmental DNA metagenomic study of ancient plant and mammal communities, analysing 535 permafrost and lake sediment samples from across t...
Article
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Peatlands are valuable archives of information about past environmental conditions and represent a globally-important carbon store. Robust proxy methods are required to reconstruct past ecohydrological dynamics in high-latitude peatlands to improve our understanding of change in these carbon-rich ecosystems. The High Arctic peatlands in Svalbard ar...
Article
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A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-021-00991-1.
Article
Long-term hydroclimate variability at low latitudes exerts a strong influence on global climate, yet its timing and mechanisms are poorly documented for the central Pacific region. Here we present the molecular and hydrogen isotopic compositions of long-chain n-alkanes in a montane wetland deposit at Mount Kaʻala on the Island of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, wh...
Article
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The carbon balance of peatlands is predicted to shift from a sink to a source this century. However, peatland ecosystems are still omitted from the main Earth system models that are used for future climate change projections, and they are not considered in integrated assessment models that are used in impact and mitigation studies. By using evidenc...
Article
The teleconnection between tropical and extratropical climates in the North Pacific and continental regions of eastern Asia and western North America is known to vary on decadal to multidecadal time scales. In this study, the teleconnection pattern is studied with observational and reanalysis data products. The regional focus is set on the Hawaiian...
Article
Our ability to reliably use radiocarbon ( ¹⁴ C) dates of mollusk shells to estimate calendar ages may depend on the feeding preference and habitat of a particular species and the geology of the region. Gastropods that feed by scraping are prone to incorporation of carbon from the substrate into their shells as evidenced by studies comparing the rad...
Article
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The Hawaiian Islands are the only high land in a vast stretch of the North Pacific where past climatological and ecological processes can be reconstructed from terrestrial Earth system archives. We measured hydroclimatic proxies and carbon accumulation in an organic sediment core from the windward montane peatland Pēpē‘ōpae on the Island of Moloka‘...
Article
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Climate change models project an increase in the frequency and duration of drought globally. Changes in rainfall are expected to have particularly detrimental effects on seedlings due to their inability to reach deep water sources. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to test how the timing of watering affects seedling performance, physiology, and...
Article
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The carbon sink potential of peatlands depends on the balance between carbon uptake by plants and microbial decomposition. The rates of both these processes will increase with warming but it remains unclear which will dominate the global peatland response. Here we examine the global relationship between peatland carbon accumulation rates during the...
Article
This study provides the first mid to late Holocene chironomid-inferred temperature (C-IT) model for northwest Ireland, creating a valuable climatic context for the development of Irish society during the Neolithic and Bronze Age. Using a lake sediment core from an isolated catchment, Lough Meenachrinna in northwest Ireland, a multi-proxy approach o...
Article
The western Antarctic Peninsula experienced rapid warming in the second half of the 20th century, which has increased vascular plant abundance and moss productivity. To better understand long-term ecological responses, we used paleoecological and microclimate data to investigate dynamics of late-Holocene peatbank development and landscape influence...
Article
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We discovered a 50-cm-thick peat deposit near Cape Rasmussen (65.2°S), in the maritime Antarctic. To our knowledge, while aerobic 'moss banks' have often been examined, waterlogged 'peatlands' have never been described in this region before. The waterlogged system is approximately 100 m², with a shallow water table. Surface vegetation is dominated...
Article
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This study explored the utility and performance of chironomid (Diptera: Chironomidae) autecology in the investigation of prehistoric farming impacts on freshwater lake systems. Chironomid subfossils, lake sediment geochemistry (δ¹³C, δ¹⁵N and C:N), pollen and macroscopic charcoal analyses were used in a comparative limnological assessment of three...
Conference Paper
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Here we report the recent resurgence of a peat deposit on Cape Rasmussen (65.2°S, 64.1°W), off the Graham Coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, in proximity to the Argentine Islands. To our knowledge, peatlands have never been reported in Antarctica. We interpret peatland initiation, around 2700 cal. BP, as well as its recent resurgence, less than 50 y...
Article
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This study provides the first decadally resolved chironomid and organic geochemistry record of the Irish Neolithic from a small lake adjacent to the Carrowkeel-Keshcorran complex in County Sligo, Ireland. Chironomid (non-biting midge fly) sub-fossils and lake sediment geochemistry (δ¹³C, δ¹⁵N and C:N) from the Templevanny Lough core were used to as...
Poster
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Waterlogged peatlands and aerobic moss peatbanks are carbon-rich peat-forming ecosystems. Understanding their environmental controls is important for projecting their future dynamics and trajectories in a changing climate. While peatlands are widely distributed in the boreal and sub-Arctic regions as well as in the tropical and southern-hemisphere...
Article
We used subfossil mosses and peats to document changes in regional climate, cryosphere, and terrestrial ecosystems in the western Antarctic Peninsula at ~65°S latitude. We find that most peat forming ecosystems have initiated since 2800 cal B.P., in response to warmer summers and increasing summer insolation. The period at 900–600 cal B.P. was cold...
Article
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A 2700-year-old peat core from the southern West Siberian Lowlands was used to reconstruct past water-table depth using testate amoeba analysis and to compare hydrological changes with temperature variations associated with the Medieval Climate Anomaly, ‘Little Ice Age’, and 20th-century warming. The robustness of water-table results was assessed u...
Article
Recent studies have enhanced our understanding of the archaeological complex on the Hill of Uisneach,Co.Westmeath. However, the present palaeoenvironmental investigations represent the first detailed study of Lough Lugh, a small lake at the centre of the monument complex and ostensible site of the god Lugh’s demise.This lake history study is a cont...
Article
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Ireland provides a unique setting for the study of past climates, as its climate is dominated by westerly airflow from the North Atlantic and readily responsive to changes in North Atlantic circulation patterns. Although there has been substantial research on Ireland’s past environments, quantitative palaeolimnological research, especially chironom...
Article
Peatlands represent the largest and most concentrated carbon pool in the terrestrial biosphere, and their dynamics during the Holocene have had significant impacts on the global carbon cycle. In this Introduction paper, we provide an overview of the contributions presented in this Special Issue on Holocene peatland carbon dynamics. We also provide...
Article
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Here, we present results from the most comprehensive compilation of Holocene peat soil properties with associated carbon and nitrogen accumulation rates for northern peatlands. Our database consists of 268 peat cores from 215 sites located north of 45 degrees N. It encompasses regions within which peat carbon data have only recently become availabl...
Article
Studies of DNA from ancient samples provide a valuable opportunity to gain insight into past evolutionary and demographic processes. Bayesian phylogenetic methods can estimate evolutionary rates and timescales from ancient DNA sequences, with the ages of the samples acting as calibrations for the molecular clock. Sample ages are often estimated usi...
Article
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Improving the capacity to predict changes in soil carbon (C) stocks in the Canadian boreal forest requires better information on the characteristics and age of soil carbon, especially more slowly cycling C in mineral soil. We characterized C in the silt-size fraction, as representative of C stabilized by mineral association, previously isolated in...
Article
Subfossil chironomid and sediment geochemistry data from Lugu Lake, a large high-elevation lake in southwest China, were used to assess the influences of climate warming and direct human impacts on the lake through time. A 95-year-long sediment record was recovered from the lake. Principal components analysis (PCA) and redundancy analysis of fossil...
Article
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Peatlands are a major terrestrial carbon store and a persistent natural carbon sink during the Holocene, but there is considerable uncertainty over the fate of peatland carbon in a changing climate. It is generally assumed that higher temperatures will increase peat decay, causing a positive feedback to climate warming and contributing to the globa...
Article
Full-text available
Peatlands are a major terrestrial carbon store and a persistent natural carbon sink during the Holocene, but there is considerable uncertainty over the fate of peatland carbon in a changing climate. It is generally assumed that higher temperatures will increase peat decay, causing a positive feedback to climate warming and contributing to the globa...
Article
Full-text available
Peatlands are a major terrestrial carbon store and a persistent natural carbon sink during the Holocene, but there is considerable uncertainty over the fate of peatland carbon in a changing climate. It is generally assumed that higher temperatures will increase peat decay, causing a positive feedback to climate warming and contributing to the globa...
Article
Full-text available
Extinction of the woolly mammoth in Beringia has long been subject to research and speculation. Here we use a new geo-referenced database of radiocarbon-dated evidence to show that mammoths were abundant in the open-habitat of Marine Isotope Stage 3 (∼45-30 ka). During the Last Glacial Maximum (∼25-20 ka), northern populations declined while those...
Article
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AGU Chapman Conference on Advances in Lagrangian Modeling of the Atmosphere; Grindelwald, Switzerland, 10–14 October 2011 Under the majestic gaze of the Eiger north face in Switzerland, an international group of researchers met as part of a Chapman Conference to discuss advances in Lagrangian modeling of the atmosphere. Lagrangian models track the...
Article
Russia's West Siberian Lowland (WSL) contains the most extensive peatlands on Earth with many underlain by permafrost. We present a new database of 12 705 measurements of vertical water content and bulk soil properties from 98 permafrost and non-permafrost cores collected in raised bogs and peat plateaus across the region, together with in-situ mea...
Article
The Western Siberian Lowland is among the largest wetlands in the world, and it is estimated to store ~70 Pg C as peat. Based on radiocarbon dating, peat accumulation rates at sites south of 60°N are higher than those at more northerly sites during the past 2000 yr. The biochemical composition of peat from high-resolution sampling in four cores was...
Article
We used published and new data from a network of 89 northern hemisphere sites to identify patterns of total carbon (C) accumulated and high-resolution changes in C accumulation rate over time in C-rich peatlands relative to climate and climate variation. Belowground C accumulated over the last 1000 years varied from 3 to 60 kg C m-2 and is related...
Article
Several recent data syntheses show that northern peatlands have played a major role in global CO2 and methane variations during the Holocene. Also, in our recent studies, we observe rapid carbon accumulation at 11000-9000 cal year BP in south-central Alaska and at 8000-6000 cal BP in the Western Hudson Bay region, both during the Holocene Thermal M...
Article
Global peatlands store a very large carbon (C) pool located within a few meters of the atmosphere. Thus, peatland-atmosphere C exchange should be a major concern to global change scientists: Will large amounts of respired belowground C be released in a warmer climate, causing the climate to further warm (a positive climate feedback)? Will more C be...
Article
We used statistical analyses to determine which subset of 36 environmental variables best explained variations in surface sediment δ13C and δ15N from 50 lakes in western Ireland that span a human-impact gradient. The factors controlling lake sediment δ13C and δ15N depended on whether organics in the lake sediment were mostly derived from the lake c...
Article
North Pacific climate is known to have varied during the Holocene, with significant ``downstream'' effects on the regional climate and hydrology of western North America. Evidence from paleoclimatic studies along the northeast Pacific margin hints at several broad-scale regime shifts since the early Holocene, with spatial expressions analogous to t...
Article
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Here we present a new data synthesis of global peatland ages, area changes, and carbon (C) pool changes since the Last Glacial Maximum, along with a new peatland map and total C pool estimates. The data show different controls of peatland expansion and C accumulation in different regions. We estimate that northern peatlands have accumulated 547 (47...
Article
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Large amounts (36.4Mgha−1 or 179m3ha−1) of buried dead wood were found in overmature (146–204-year-old) black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) forests in the high boreal region of eastern Canada. Amounts of this size indicate that burial reduces rates of wood decay producing an important component of long-term carbon (C) storage. Radiocarbon-d...
Article
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Quantitative palaeostudies of climate change and carbon dynamics are reliant on precise and accurate laboratory measurements. Here we present laboratory protocols for the colorimetric determination of peat humification and for bulk density and organic matter content, including an overview of methodological considerations for the quantification of t...
Article
The West Siberia Lowland is the most carbon-rich northern wetland region, holding an important portion of total northern peatland carbon (70 Gt of 270-450 Gt C) mainly in the southern lowland (44 Gt) in very large peatlands. The largest of these, the Great Vasyugan Bog complex, spans 63,252 km2 and alone holds ~11 Gt C. Our previous work has shown...
Article
The Arctic region of Europe is expected to undergo further dramatic environmental change in the coming century that could destabilize large amounts of belowground carbon, which is concentrated in Arctic peatlands. To address the sensitivity of Arctic peatland carbon over the recent past we investigated several mire sites in the inner fjords of west...
Article
On the Svalbard archipelago, as in other high Arctic regions, tundra soil organic matter (SOM) is primarily plant detritus that is largely stabilized by cold, moist conditions and low nitrogen availability. However, the resistance of SOM to decomposition is also influenced by the quality of organic matter inputs to soil. Different plant communities...
Article
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1] We use a network of cores from 77 peatland sites to determine controls on peat C content and peat C accumulation over the last 2000 years (since 2 ka) across Russia's West Siberian Lowland (WSL), the world's largest wetland region. Our results show a significant influence of fossil plant composition on peat C content, with peats dominated by Sph...
Article
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In this paper, we evaluate the long-term climate sensitivity and global carbon (C) cycle implications of northern peatland C dynamics by synthesizing available data and providing a conceptual framework for understanding the dominant controls, processes, and interactions of peatland initiation and C accumulation. Northern peatlands are distributed t...
Article
High resolution records of change in terrestrial High Arctic environments are often limited by slow accumulation rates and the absence of material or conditions suitable for accurate chronologies. At several wetland sites in the inner fjords of western Svalbard we investigated organic deposits to assess the sensitivity of ecosystem carbon dynamics...
Article
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The Russian treeline is a dynamic ecotone typified by steep gradients in summer temperature and regionally variable gradients in albedo and heat flux. The location of the treeline is largely controlled by summer temperatures and growing season length. Temperatures have responded strongly to twentieth-century global warming and will display a magnif...
Article
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The organic carbon (C) stocks contained in peat were estimated for a wetland-rich boreal region of the Mackenzie River Basin, Canada, using high-resolution wetland map data, available peat C characteristic and peat depth datasets, and geostatistics. Peatlands cover 32% of the 25 119 km2 study area, and consist mainly of surface- and/or groundwater-...
Article
The richness and ecological roles of yeasts in peatlands are largely unknown. This paper presents a review of the literature on yeasts in peatlands and also provides new data with species isolated from peatlands in Saskatchewan, Canada, and West Siberia, Russia. To date, 75 yeast taxa have been reported from peatlands, including 46 identified speci...
Article
Northern peatlands are important ecosystems in the study of global change owing to their value as paleoenvironmental archives together with the ongoing debate over their role in the global carbon cycle. The Russian Federation holds the greatest share of the world's peatlands, which are concentrated in the flat expanses of the West Siberia Lowland (...
Article
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An analysis of 1516 radiocarbon dates demonstrates that the development of the current circumarctic peatlands began ∼16.5 thousand years ago (ka) and expanded explosively between 12 and 8 ka in concert with high summer insolation and increasing temperatures. Their rapid development contributed to the sustained peak in CH4 and modest decline of CO2...
Article
The peatlands of the West Siberia Lowland (WSL) are of global significance owing to the massive carbon (C) stocks they hold (70 Pg C) and their location at the focus of both observed and predicted Arctic warming. Greater understanding of the potential warm-climate sensitivity of northern peatlands using paleoecological approaches is limited by past...
Article
Tropical wetlands are thought to have been a major driver of early Holocene fluctuations in atmospheric methane, in part because high-latitude peatlands were not extensively developed in North America by ~11 ka, a period of peak methane concentration. However, the timing of peatland expansion in Russia, which contains nearly half of the world's pea...
Article
The development of extensive peatlands in the circumpolar subarctic and arctic zones produced immense alterations in edaphic conditions, hydrology, vegetation, animal forage and habitat conditions, human land-use potential, carbon storage and land-atmosphere fluxes of CO2 and CH4. There has been much speculation regarding the impact that circumpola...
Article
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1] The West Siberian Lowland (WSL) contains the world's most extensive peatlands and a substantial fraction of the global terrestrial carbon pool. Despite its recognition as a carbon reservoir of great significance, the extent, thickness, and carbon content of WSL peatlands have not been analyzed in detail. This paper compiles a wide array of data...
Article
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Interpolar methane gradient (IPG) data from ice cores suggest the “switching on” of a major Northern Hemisphere methane source in the early Holocene. Extensive data from Russia's West Siberian Lowland show (i) explosive, widespread peatland establishment between 11.5 and 9 thousand years ago, predating comparable development in North America and sy...