EGU22-9405, updated on 27 Nov 2023
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Modelling CO2 emissions from drained and rewetted peat meadows with PEATLAND

Merit van den Berg1, Ype van der Velde1, Jacobus van Huissteden1, Jim Boonman1, and Ralf Aben2
Merit van den Berg et al.
  • 1Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Earth & Climate, Amsterdam, Netherlands (
  • 2Radboud University Nijmegen, Aquatic Ecology & Environmental Biology, Nijmegen, Netherlands

Peatlands that are drained for agricultural purposes emit large amounts of CO2, which contribute worldwide to 9-15 % of the total greenhouse gas emission. With the aim to mitigate emissions, (partly) rewetting of drained peatlands is often proposed as a useful contribution. Monitoring the effectiveness of rewetting by measuring CO2 fluxes is time intensive. Thereby, to extract peat oxidation from the bulk CO2 flux, long term measurements are needed so that fluctuation in respiration from the short term carbon cycle (driven by biomass production) is not of influence.

To overcome long term intensive measurements, a model could help out to evaluate CO2 emissions and the effect of water table increase on peat oxidation. PEATLAND is a 1D process based model, consisting of four submodels for 1) soil physics (water table, soil temperature and soil moisture), 2) biomass production, 3) CH4 production, oxidation and transport, and 4) CO2 production. CO2 production is the sum of decomposition from different soil organic matter (SOM) pools, like litter, root exudates, microbial biomass and peat.

We calibrated the PEATLAND model for three intensively used drained peat meadows in the Netherlands, that are equipped with sensors for measuring continuously CO2 fluxes and all environmental variables related to that. These sites have a reference field and a field with elevated groundwater level. In this presentation, we discuss the model performance on these sites. We will show how this model can be used to evaluate rewetting measures on CO2 emissions from peatlands, and what the limitations are.

How to cite: van den Berg, M., van der Velde, Y., van Huissteden, J., Boonman, J., and Aben, R.: Modelling CO2 emissions from drained and rewetted peat meadows with PEATLAND, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9405,, 2022.


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