EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Depth-dependent decomposition of root litter in drained and rewetted fen ecosystems

Gesche Blume-Werry1, Juergen Kreyling1, Sarah Schwieger1, Kai-Uwe Eckhardt2, Levke Henningsen1, Hans Hogrefe2, Nicole Wrage-Mönnig3, Juergen Mueller3, and Peter Leinweber2
Gesche Blume-Werry et al.
  • 1Experimental Plant Ecology, Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology, University of Greifswald, Soldmannstr. 15, 17487 Greifswald
  • 2Soil Science, University of Rostock, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 6, 18051 Rostock
  • 3Grassland and Fodder Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Rostock, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 6, 18051 Rostock

Peatlands cover only 3% of the lands surface, but store roughly a third of the global soil carbon due to inhibited decomposition rates. Over a third of the peatland area in Europe are fens, in which the peat is primarily formed by roots and rhizomes of vascular plants. These fens have been subjected to widespread drainage and conversion into agricultural areas. As a result, they continuously emit large amount of greenhouse gases. One strategy of mitigating the emissions, and ideally restoring the original sink function, is to rewet fen peatlands. However, it remains uncertain how rewetting changes decomposition rates compared to the drained state, and what the underlying biogeochemical processes and organic matter transformations during litter decomposition and peat formation are. We here present decomposition rates of root material in different depth, over 6 months, a year, and two years in different drained and rewetted fen ecosystems (percolation fen, coastal fen, alder forest). In addition to mass loss, we also assessed the composition of carbon compounds over time.

How to cite: Blume-Werry, G., Kreyling, J., Schwieger, S., Eckhardt, K.-U., Henningsen, L., Hogrefe, H., Wrage-Mönnig, N., Mueller, J., and Leinweber, P.: Depth-dependent decomposition of root litter in drained and rewetted fen ecosystems, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11449,, 2021.

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