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

Effect of hydrological and vegetation restorations on the C sink function of the disturbed La Guette peatland.

Rima Bou Melhem1, Line Jourdain1, Sébastien Gogo2, Fabien Leroy, Adrien Jacotot3, Benoît D'Angelo, Fatima Laggoun-Défarge4, and Christophe Guimbaud1
Rima Bou Melhem et al.
  • 1LPC2E (Université d’Orléans / CNRS) Orléans, France
  • 2ECOBIO (Université Rennes 1) Rennes, France
  • 3Institut National de la Recherche en Agriculture,Alimentation et Environnement (INRAE), Rennes, France
  • 4ISTO (Université d’Orléans / CNRS / BRGM) Orléans, France

Natural peatlands represent 1/3 of the world C soils and contribute significantly to sequestration of atmospheric CO2 by assimilation and storage of non-well decomposed organic C, due to their specific predominant vegetation such as Sphagnum species. However, they are encountering anthropogenic-induced pressures that disturb their structure (implying shift of vegetation), with potential consequences on their carbon sink function. In an attempt to mitigate this effect, restoration experiments were undertaken at La Guette peatland, a hydrologically disturbed temperate Sphagnum-peatland invaded by vascular plants, which is now a carbon source. Hydrological restoration was performed by blocking drains with dams and vegetation restoration was undertaken by either i) removing first 5 cm of peat (bare plots) or ii) removing first 5 cm of peat and transferring Sphagnum mosses (Sphagnum plots). To study the effect of these experiments, CO2 and CH4 fluxes together with environmental variables and vegetation indices were monitored from 2014 to 2017 in 24 2mx2m plots. The annual carbon budget for each plot was estimated using empirical models. Preliminary results show that the hydrological restored site presented lower annual mean CO2 emissions than the undisturbed site. In addition, Sphagnum plots had the lowest annual mean CO2 emissions followed by bare peat plots then by intact plots. Hence, the results of these models provide evidence that hydrological and vegetation restorations favour the return to the C sink function of the peatland. However, there is still a need for larger-scale studies to better estimate the effect of restoration activities on peatland greenhouse carbon budgets.

How to cite: Bou Melhem, R., Jourdain, L., Gogo, S., Leroy, F., Jacotot, A., D'Angelo, B., Laggoun-Défarge, F., and Guimbaud, C.: Effect of hydrological and vegetation restorations on the C sink function of the disturbed La Guette peatland., EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-7044,, 2023.