Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

International Paleofire Network workshop: Long-term fire-vegetation change: data-based challenges

Göttingen, Germany
Working groups

International Paleofire Network (IPN) workshop: Long-term fire-vegetation change: data-based challenges


Date: 13 - 17 February 
Venue: Faculty of Geoscience and Geography, Göttingen, Germany, and online


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.

Aims of the workshop

This workshop aims to discuss the current state in understanding large-scale fire-vegetation interactions with a focus on high latitudes. We would 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.

Important dates

Deadline for abstract submission and registration: 25 January 2023
Submit an abstract online:


No registration fees apply. Limited travel support for ECRs is provided by the DFG (project “Siberian fire regime changes in interglacials of the last 3.6 Ma”) and will be awarded until 12 January.
Register online:

Scientific program


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

14 February: Presentations and ideas
Keynotes by: 
• Graciela Gil-Romera, Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (CSIC), Zaragoza, Spain
• Andreas Koutsoudendris, University of Heidelberg, Germany
• Sascha Krüger, National Museum of Denmark, Denmark

poster and discussion sessions on long-term fire-vegetation and vegetation-fire interactions including flash talks that pitch poster presentations

15 February: Perspectives, problems and possible solutions
• Introduction to the Neotoma database by Thomas Giesecke, University Utrecht, The Netherlands
• Introduction to F.A.I.R data by Mareike Wieczorek, Alfred-Wegener-Institute Potsdam, Germany
• 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)

16 February: 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
• Afternoon training of paleofire data evaluation in R by Walter Finsinger, University of Montpellier, France

17 February: Excursion to Harz mountains (on demand)

Further information

For further details, please visit the website here and/or here

> Visit the International Paleofire Network (IPN) webpage