EGU23-5809, updated on 09 Jan 2024
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Can thin peats sequester carbon?

Lou Goodger1, Naomi Gatis1, Pia Benaud1, Karen Anderson2, and Richard Brazier1
Lou Goodger et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
  • 2Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, UK

Definitions of peatlands based on peat thickness often exclude areas of shallow peat such as those found across Bodmin Moor, southwest UK.  Although thin, in areas, these peats support Sphagnum rich vegetation communities. 

We are continuously (every 30 minutes) measuring net ecosystem exchange and methane fluxes, using automated chambers, in four vegetation communities along a wetness gradient.  We hypothesis despite the thin peat, these communities are carbon sequestering, and therefore require protection and/or restoration.

These peatlands are heterogeneous on meter spatial scales, chamber measurements enable us to capture that variability and quantify the difference between the vegetation communities present.  The temporal resolution of the data gives us certainty in the carbon budgets not previously possible using survey techniques.

How to cite: Goodger, L., Gatis, N., Benaud, P., Anderson, K., and Brazier, R.: Can thin peats sequester carbon?, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-5809,, 2023.