EGU22-12424, updated on 27 Nov 2023
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

How do CO2 fluxes relate to groundwater table on a yearly and seasonal scale in Dutch drained peatlands used for dairy farming?

Ralf Aben1, Merit Van den Berg2, Jim Boonman2, Daniel Van de Craats3, Christian Fritz1, Ype Van der Velde2, Bart Kruijt4, Mariet Hefting5, Rudi Hessel3, Ronald Hutjes4, Sanneke van Asselen6, Gilles Erkens6, and the NOBV consortium*
Ralf Aben et al.
  • 1Radboud Institute for Biological and Environmental Sciences, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
  • 2Earth Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • 3Bodem, Water en Landgebruik, Wageningen Environmental Research, Wageningen, the Netherlands
  • 4Water Systems and Global Change, Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University & Research, the Netherlands
  • 5Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 6Deltares Research Institute, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

Rewetting of drained peatlands is a proposed measure to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Worldwide, drained peatlands are responsible for 9–15 % of the total GHG emission and reducing these emissions therefore has a large potential to combat climate warming. In the Netherlands, almost all peatlands are drained and 85% are in agricultural use. The Dutch government has set the aim to reduce the yearly emission from peatlands with 1 Mton by 2030. Different measures are proposed to achieve this goal. There is, however, insufficient data to determine the magnitude of GHG emissions from Dutch peatlands and to validate the effects of mitigation measures. Therefore, in 2019, the National Research Program on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Peatlands (NOBV) was initiated. In this program we use transparent automated flux chambers, eddy covariance and aircraft measurements, combined with a network of groundwater, soil and meteorological sensors, to perform long-term unattended measurements of soil-atmosphere GHG fluxes and relevant environmental variables on different dairy farms in the Netherlands. We aim to quantify emission magnitudes and monitor the effects of elevated summer water tables (using subsoil irrigation as mitigation measure) as well as develop models that predict GHG emissions and the effects of rewetting measures on a national scale.

In this presentation we will show the CO2 flux results of the first two monitoring years of five drained peatlands. We will present the effects of elevating groundwater levels during the summer period with subsoil irrigation and discuss the differences between sites and years. In the wet year (2021) the mitigation effect was much less than in the dry year (2020), in some cases even negative, and mitigation effects strongly varied among locations. Aggregating data from all 5 sites shows that soil temperature and water table depth are important predictors for ecosystem respiration. However, overall, CO2 fluxes did not show a clear relationship with water table depth after controlling for temperature. Only a water table depth < -20 cm showed clear potential for emission reduction.

NOBV consortium:

Corine van Huissteden, R. Bergval, Bas van de Riet, Gis van Dijk, Jacobus van Huissteden, Jan van den Akker, Gerard Velthof, Arie Bikker, Saskia Hommes, Wietse Franssen, Ron Lootens, Joost Keuskamp, Roel Melman, Sannimari Käärmelahti, Rob Limburg, Mathijs Luger, H.S. Mulder, Pieter Dijk, Roy Belderok, Stefan Weideveld, Paul Gerritsen, Enno van Waardenberg, Sarah Faye Harpenslager, Coline Boonman, Laura Knops, Julia Land, Harry van Essen, Henk Kooi, Tobias Schoen, Harry Massop, Tom Heuts, Siem Jansen, Sarian Kosten, Judith van den Knaap, Peter Cruijsen, and others.

How to cite: Aben, R., Van den Berg, M., Boonman, J., Van de Craats, D., Fritz, C., Van der Velde, Y., Kruijt, B., Hefting, M., Hessel, R., Hutjes, R., van Asselen, S., and Erkens, G. and the NOBV consortium: How do CO2 fluxes relate to groundwater table on a yearly and seasonal scale in Dutch drained peatlands used for dairy farming?, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12424,, 2022.