Abstract

Radiocarbon dating and analyses of fossils contained in peat cliffs establish the history of peatland formation and development at the northern edge of Point Escuminac, New Brunswick. A 532 cm radiocarbon-dated mineral sediment and peat sequence, the oldest of four sections studied, yielded pollen and macrofossils that record bog development from 11 000 BP. The earliest landscape was open Juniperus shrubland. Picea was the first tree to move into the area, forming woodland communities by 10 200 BP and closed coniferous forests with Abies by 9200 BP. An early counterpart of the modern Acadian forests was in place by 6500 BP and was fully developed by 2900 BP when Fagus spread through the area. Shallow freshwater, open wetland communities acted as nuclei for the development of fen near the centre of the peninsula. Transformation into an ombrotrophic bog started around 6500 BP and was completed by 4700 BP, after which time the bog spread laterally by paludification onto higher parts of the peninsula.

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