EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Paludiculture in temperate fens to combat eutrophication, biodiversity loss, and climate change

Jürgen Kreyling and Franziska Tanneberger
Jürgen Kreyling and Franziska Tanneberger
  • Experimental Plant Ecology and partner in the Greifswald Mire Centre, University of Greifswlad, Greifswald, Germany (

Draining temperate fen peatlands created multiple problems such as greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication and subsidence due to peat mineralization, but also loss of highly specialized biodiversity. Based on recent own publications and (not yet published) studies, we here explore the potential of paludiculture, i.e. the wet use of peatlands, in tackling the multiple challenges mentioned above. Rewetting effectively curbs carbon losses (Tanneberger et al. 2020, 2021), but rewetted fens are more enriched in nutrients and differ in vegetation composition compared to natural fens (Kreyling et al. 2021). Brown mosses, for instance, are outcompeted by tall helophytes (Jaszczuk et al. 2022). Harvesting aboveground plant biomass can effectively reduce nutrient loads (Hinzke et al. 2021a), while belowground production leading to peat formation is even enhanced by high nutrient loads (Hinzke 2021b). Paludiculture with productive species such as Typha, however, is possible even with low nutrient availability (Haldan et al. 2022). If productive species such as Phragmites are actively introduced for paludiculture, genotypes should carefully be selected as they differ strongly in performance (Haldan et al. unpublished). Paludiculture has the potential to foster conservation targets across multiple taxa such as plants, arthropods, and birds (Martens et al. unpublished). Drought events occur with increasing intensity and frequency idue to climate change. High decomposition under these circumstances, however, is balanced by increased root production (Schwieger et al. 2020) due to an elongated belowground growing season (Schwieger et al. 2022). We conclude that paludiculture is a viable management option for rewetted fens that can curb multiple environmental challenges such as greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication and biodiversity loss.


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How to cite: Kreyling, J. and Tanneberger, F.: Paludiculture in temperate fens to combat eutrophication, biodiversity loss, and climate change, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-11048,, 2023.