paleofire 1.1.9 !

A new version of the R package paleofire 1.1.9 is available on CRAN ( and GitHub ( The release includes few bug fixes and improvements of existing functions, including more flexibility in pfAddData function and new options in kdffreq, see examples below:

# Control the type and format of user defined charcoal files
# here for examples csv files with three columns 
#(depth, age and char) separated with semicolon and with "." 
# character used in the file for decimal points:

mydata=pfAddData(files=files, sep=";", dec=".")
# Transform and compositing:
TR=pfTransform(add=mydata, method=c("MinMax","Box-Cox","Z-Score"),
COMP=pfComposite(TR1, bins=seq(0,8000,500))


 # Estimate the frequency of armed conflicts from 1946 to 2014 
 # using kernel density estimation from kdffreq
 # Data from the The Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) available at:

 res=kdffreq(dat$Year,bandwidth = "bw.ucv", nbboot=1000, up = 1946, lo = 2014, interval=1, pseudo=T)
 plot(res, ylab="# armed conflict/year")


paleofire 1.1.5

A new version of the R package paleofire is available on CRAN at

This release includes a new vignette on the basic usage of paleofire for reconstructing regional charcoal composite curves and a new function to easily export GCD sites to Google Earth .kml file.

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 3.28.06 PM

The australasian sites above have been exported using:

pfToKml(x, file='/Users/Olivier/Desktop/sites.kml')



paleofire package highlighted in the PAGES Magazine

The paleofire package has been highlighted in the April issue of the PAGES Magazine :

PAGES_April2014Vannière B., O. Blarquez, J. Marlon, A.-L. Daniau and M. Power. 2014. Multi-Scale Analyses of fire-climate- Vegetation Interactions on Millennial Scales. PAGES Magazine, Volume 22, Page 40.

The article presents the workshop of the Global Paleofire Working Group held in Frasne (France) on 2-6 October 2013 that was supported by PAGES. The pdf of the article can be downloaded here or directly from the PAGES website.

Introducing the paleofire package

The new R package, paleofire, has been released on CRAN. The package is dedicated to the analysis and synthesis of charcoal series contained in the Global Charcoal Database (GCD) to reconstruct past biomass burning.

paleofire is an initiative of the Global Paleofire Working Group core team, whose aim is to encourage the use of sedimentary charcoal series to develop regional to global synthesis of paleofire activity, and to ease access to the GCD data through a common research framework that will be useful to the paleofire research community. Currently, paleofire features are organized into three different parts related to (i) site selection and charcoal series extraction from GCD data; (ii) charcoal data transformation and homogenization; and (iii) charcoal series compositing and syntheses.


paleofire is available from both CRAN website and GitHub

To install the official release (v1.0, 01/2014) from CRAN you just need to type this line at the R prompt:


To install the development version of paleofire from the GitHub repository the devtools package is required: on Windows platform the Rtools.exe program is required in order to install the devtools package. Rtools.exe can be downloaded for a specific R version on

Once devtools is installed type the following lines at R prompt to install paleofire:


To test everything is working you can plot a map of all charcoal records included in the Global Charcoal Database v03:


For details and examples about paleofire please refer to the included manual.

More examples of the capabilities of paleofire to come in the near future…

Replicated rarefied richness

This example is intended to present the methods develloped for the paper Blarquez et al. (2013). We will use the macroremain record of the Lac du Loup a small subalpine lake with continuous macoremain counts for the last 11 750 years. More details on this site can be found in Blarquez et al. (2010).

First load the macroremain data:

# Macroremain counts
# Associated depths, ages and sample volumes
# Set missing values to zero

We now caluculates the median resolution of the record and the interpolated ages at which the influx will be calculated:

Ages=seq(-50, 11750, resMed)

We reconstruct the influx matrix using the pretreatment function which is the R implementation of the CharAnalysis CharPretreatment.m function originally develloped by P. Higuera and available at
Requires a matrix as input with the following columns:
CmTop CmBot AgeTop AgeBot Volume (params)
A serie from which to calculate accumulation rates (serie)

for (i in 1:length(dataMacro[1,])){
 + infMacro[,i]=c(pretreatment(params=paramMacro,serie=dataMacro[,i],
 + yrInterp=resMed,first=-50,last=11750,
 + plotit=F,Int=F)$accI)
 + }

Calculate samples macroremain sums and the minimun influx sum:


We exclude the last sample (not calculated because of unknown accumulation rate) and samples with NA (because of vol==0):

del=which(S==0 |

We calculate a proportion matrix which is used to replicate the rarefaction procedure:

for (i in 1:length(infMacro[1,])){
 + S_[,i]=c(S)
 + }

Replicate rarefaction with min influx n=1,2,…,500.
We will use the rarefy function from the package vegan:

for (n in 1:500){
 + infN=ceiling(S_*n/nMin*propMat)
 + rare_[,n]=c(rarefy(infN,sample=n))
 + }

And finnally calculates the 90 percent confidence intervals and plot the rarefied richness using a 500 years locally weighted scatter plot smoother:

CI_=t(apply(rare_, 1, quantile, probs = c(0.05, 0.5, .95), na.rm = TRUE))
plot(Ages,lowess(CI_[,2], f =span)$y,type="l",ylab="E[Tn]",ylim=c(min(CI_),
 + max(CI_)),xlab="Age",main="Rarefied Richness",xlim=c(12000,-100))
lines(Ages,lowess(CI_[,1], f =span)$y,type="l",lty=2)
lines(Ages,lowess(CI_[,3], f =span)$y,type="l",lty=2)

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 12.41.53 PM
Blarquez O., Finsinger W. and C. Carcaillet. 2013. Assessing paleo-biodiversity using low proxy influx. PLoS ONE 8(4): e65852
Blarquez O., Carcaillet C., Mourier B., Bremond L. and O. Radakovitch. 2010. Trees in the subalpine belt since 11 700 cal. BP : origin, expansion and alteration of the modern forest. The Holocene 20 : 139-146. DOI : 10.1177/0959683609348857

Download pdf vignette