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

Carbon dynamics of a controlled peatland restoration experiment in Norway

Michael Bekken1, Norbert Pirk1, Astrid Vatne1, Lena Tallaksen1, Sebastian Westermann1, Poul Larsen2, Andreas Ibrom3, Klaus Steenberg Larsen4, Jacqueline Knutson5, and Peter Dörsch6
Michael Bekken et al.
  • 1Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  • 2DMR Miljø og Geoteknikk AS, Oslo, Norway
  • 3Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark
  • 4University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 5Norsk Institutt for Vannforskning, Oslo, Norway
  • 6Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway

Norway has the third greatest extent of peatlands in Europe, after Finland and Sweden. Norwegian peatlands cover nearly 30 000 km2 or 7.7 percent of Norway’s land area. However, 6500 km2 of these peatlands have been drained for forestry or agriculture and are estimated to emit approximately 6 Mton CO2 annually, accounting for 11 percent of Norway’s total carbon emissions. In 2016, the Norwegian Environment Agency and the Norwegian Directorate of Agriculture embarked on a peatland restoration plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the ecological conditions of drained and degraded peatlands in Norway. Since then, over 100 peatland sites have been restored. However, only one of these sites is being actively monitored to determine the effect of restoration on carbon fluxes, making this site critical to understanding carbon dynamics of restored peatlands in Norway. The site, located in the Regnåsen and Hisåsen Nature Reserve (Trysil Municipality, Innlandet county) consists of two study areas that are sub-catchments of the same watershed, cover approximately 0.5 km2, and are separated by 0.5 km. Both areas were drained in the 1960s, with a network of drainage ditches totaling approximately 4000m. One of the areas was restored in 2021 by constructing 318 dams in the drainage ditches, while the other area remains drained as a control. In 2019 eddy covariance towers were installed to track vertical CO2 and CH4 fluxes on each site. In addition, DOC, DIC and water discharge measurements were taken to estimate lateral carbon transport, and soil samples were taken to estimate carbon stocks. Preliminary results indicate that COfluxes have decreased and CH4 fluxes have increased in the restored site as compared to the drained site, and that vertical carbon fluxes account for over 90% of carbon transport on both sites. This project is coordinated by the LATICE (Land-ATmosphere Interactions in Cold Environments) project at University of Oslo. The results of this study will assist the Norwegian Environment Agency in shaping the next phase of the peatland restoration work in Norway.

How to cite: Bekken, M., Pirk, N., Vatne, A., Tallaksen, L., Westermann, S., Larsen, P., Ibrom, A., Steenberg Larsen, K., Knutson, J., and Dörsch, P.: Carbon dynamics of a controlled peatland restoration experiment in Norway, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-15754,, 2023.