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

Seasonal and diurnal patterns in Greenhouse Gas fluxes from re-wetted European peatlands

Kyle Boodoo1, Jonas Niese1,2, Enys Herbst1, Katharina Fischer1, and Stephan Glatzel1
Kyle Boodoo et al.
  • 1Department of Geography and Regional Research, University of Vienna, Austria (
  • 2currently at Faculty of Environmental Science, Czech University of Life Sciences (CZU Prague), Czech Republic

Peatlands represent 2.5% of all agricultural land in the EU, yet they account for ~ 25% of agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and ~ 5% of total EU-wide GHG emissions. Several studies have shown that peatland rewetting can reduce, or even reverse, the net GHG emissions from previously drained peatlands. We investigated GHG emissions from 14 different European peatland sites (Germany [6], Poland [4] and Netherlands [4]) across a landuse (3 levels) and water table (2 levels) gradient during a 2 year period (July 2021 – June 2023). GHG flux measurements utilizing closed, non-flow-through, dark, non-steady-state chambers were implemented to estimate ecosystem respiration from the study sites. Ecosystem respiration represents the largest share of carbon export to the atmosphere from terrestrial ecosystems. Within the study, landuse gradient was represented by the level of paludiculture (harvest frequency/ soil nitrogen levels), and water table level indicated by Typha- and Carex- dominated vegetation. Initial study results indicate that overall, CO2 fluxes varied across seasons (ANOVA, p<0.001, n = 1738, F = 14.08), with the highest fluxes occurring in summer (0.402 ± 0.342 g CO2 m-2h-1), and lowest in winter (0.233 ± 0.368 g CO2 m-2h-1). Similarly, CH4 fluxes varied seasonally, with the highest CH4 fluxes in summer (6.95 ± 8.07 mg CH4 m-2h-1) and lowest in winter (1.98 ± 4.07 mg CH4 m-2h-1). Average CO2 fluxes decreased with the increasing level of paludiculture intensity for both Typha and Carex dominated sites, while CH4 fluxes typically increased with increasing harvest frequency/ soil nitrogen levels. While CO2 and CH4 fluxes were generally higher in the early morning (as compared to afternoons), particularly during summer and autumn, we could not show an overall significant diurnal difference in GHG fluxes. Seasonal variability in CO2 and CH4 was likely an indicator of the effect of temperature and water table level on GHG fluxes. GHG fluxes at the Typha dominated sites were consistently higher than those of complimentary Carex dominated sites for each landuse class, highlighting the importance of water table and vegetation species on GHG emissions. This research was conducted as part of the Peatland Rewetting In Nitrogen-Contaminated Environments: Synergies and trade-offs between biodiversity, climate, water quality & Society (PRINCESS) project, investigating rewetting of drained, nitrogen contaminated peatlands and their potential role in reducing EU-wide greenhouse gas emissions and improving wetland biodiversity.

How to cite: Boodoo, K., Niese, J., Herbst, E., Fischer, K., and Glatzel, S.: Seasonal and diurnal patterns in Greenhouse Gas fluxes from re-wetted European peatlands, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-13951,, 2023.