Workshop on “Long-term fire-vegetation change: data-based challenges”


Fire regimes are changing with climate change. Fire weather extremes promote an areal, temporal and severity increase of fires in many regions of the world including landscapes that naturally would be too wet or cold to burn. The long-term impacts of fire regime intensification (i.e. larger, more frequent, more severe fire in longer fire seasons) are poorly understood, especially long-term fire impacts on vegetation composition and vice versa.
Proxy-based fire reconstructions over decades to millennia and in the Quaternary can help to understand the role of fire in shaping landscapes under different climate and human land use intensities. However, fire impacts can only be understood when proxy-based fire reconstructions are analyzed in combination with vegetation reconstructions.
Multiple paleofire proxies (charcoal and molecular biomass burning residues) have been analyzed in sedimentary archives across the world. More than 1200 paleofire records are currently hosted by the Global Paleofire Database (GPD) of the International Paleofire Network (IPN) and have frequently been used for global to regional-scale data syntheses. Paleofire syntheses thereby provide powerful ways to disentangle different drivers of fire across spatial and temporal scales. Yet, the detailed relationship between fire regime, climate and vegetation change remains restricted to single site studies, such as at Lake El’gygytgyn, northeastern Siberia. To enable larger scale understanding of fire-climate-vegetation relationships, several data-based challenges need to be solved that range from compiling multi-proxy records to harmonization of records with different measurements and complying to the FAIR principles.
This workshop aims to discuss the current state in understanding large-scale fire-vegetation interactions with a focus on high latitudes. We also like to address and discuss solutions for challenges of harmonizing data formats and how to best serve the community with moving the Global Paleofire Database under the umbrella of the Neotoma data repository.
We invite researchers, especially early career (ECRs), interested in past fire and its impact/interaction on/with vegetation to discuss their proxy data-based challenges in an open and friendly workshop in Göttingen, Central Germany – in person or online. No registration fees do apply. Limited travel support for ECRs is provided by the DFG (project “Siberian fire regime changes in interglacials of the last 3.6 Ma”).

Date: 13-Feb-2023 to 17-Feb-2023
Location: Faculty of Geoscience and Geography, Goldschmidtstr. 5, Göttingen and online!

Abstract submission and travel support application: 6th January 2023 (see here)
Notification about travel support: 12th January 2023
Final registration of participants: 25th January 2023

Tentative program

Mon, 13 Feb: arrival of participants, ice breaker get-together at 6 pm CET

Tue, 14 Feb: Presentations and ideas
• keynotes, poster and discussion sessions on long-term fire-vegetation and vegetation-fire interactions including flash talks that pitch poster presentations

Wed, 15 Feb: Perspectives, problems and possible solutions
• introduction to the Neotoma database (keynote by Thomas Giesecke, University Utrecht)
• introduction to F.A.I.R data by Mareike Wieczorek (AWI, requested)
• introduction to paleofire data (member of IPN)
• discussion of data-based and database challenges in groups
• hands-on afternoon workshop on “Neotoma in R” (EPD and Neotoma data stewards)

Thu, 16 Feb: Concluding the discussions and training
• morning hike to Göttingen uphill
• evaluation of discussions
• hands-on to develop a data template and workflow to facilitate the integration of the GPD into Neotoma
• planning of future tackling of large-scale data-based challenges in paleofire-vegetation and vegetation-fire reconstructions
• Optional further afternoon training of paleofire data evaluation in R (Walter Finsinger, University of Montpellier, requested)

Fri, 17 Feb: field trip to Harz mountains (on demand)

Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Dietze, Landscape Geoscience, Institute of Geography, University of Göttingen, Germany, email:
Dr. Lyudmila Shumilovskikh, Palynology and Climate Dynamics, Albrecht-von-Haller-Institute for Plant Sciences, University of Göttingen, Germany,