Peatland management
Convener: Hanna Silvennoinen | Co-conveners: Franziska Tanneberger, Bärbel Tiemeyer
| Attendance Tue, 05 May, 10:45–12:30 (CEST)

Globally, 10–20% of peatlands have been drained for agriculture or forestry emitting close to 5% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Some European countries report more than 60% of their emissions from agriculture and land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) originating from drained organic soils, and the fate of South-East Asian peatlands is of global concern. Most peatland-rich countries address peatlands poorly in national emission reporting and climate change mitigation strategies.

Peatland restoration for conservation purposes can solve many problems related to drained peatlands and has been implemented for decades now. However, innovative mitigation measures that sustain economically viable biomass production while reducing negative environmental impacts including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, fire risk and supporting ecosystem services of organic soils are only currently studied. Management measures include, but are not limited to, productive use of wet peatlands, improved water management in conventional agriculture and innovative approaches in conservation-focused rewetting projects. Production systems with high water tables can generate food, feed, fiber, fuel and raw materials for chemical industry. A better understanding of ecosystem functioning and underlying processes is the basis for sustainable use of wet landscapes. Implementing these innovations in practice and integrating them into national GHG inventories remains a challenge.

We invite studies addressing all types of peatland management, i.e. agriculture, forestry and “classical” restoration, as well as their integration into GHG inventories. Work on all spatial scales from laboratory to national level addressing biogeochemical and biological aspects and experimental and modelling studies are welcome. Especially research on development of systems with details on commodities with viable value chains and income generation are of interest. Furthermore, we invite contributions addressing policy coherence and identifying policy instruments for initiating and implementing new management practices on organic soils.

This session is organized as a joined effort of Global Research Alliance “Peatland Management” working group, Greifswald Mire Centre, Thünen Institute and the WETSCAPES project (ESF/14-BM-A55-xxx/16) funded by the European Social Fund and the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.