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Conference abstract2011

Wetland management after termination of peat extraction and effects on the environment

Lundin, Lars; Lode, Elve; Nilsson, Torbjörn; Strömgren, Monika; Jordan, Sabine

Abstract

Peatlands are used for activities such as agriculture, forestry and peat harvesting. The use is often dependent on drainage to regulate the water conditions. In peat excavation plans, after-use is strictly regulated. Restoration of wetlands is highlighted. In industrial use of peatlands, considerable changes in site conditions exist as the very old peat bottom layers are exposed to land surface conditions. In Sweden, rewetting of two such areas started more than ten years ago. Investigations were carried out before and after rewetting using the comparison and calibration period technique. Ecological characteristics of wetlands differ considerably and are reflected in the remaining peat conditions, established hydrology and water chemistry. These characteristics are the driving force for vegetation development, water quality, limnic life and biogeochemistry. Vegetation and surface soil conditions have changed with time and are balanced with new spontaneous Sphagnum colonisation. Changes in hydrochemistry after rewetting relate to altered redox conditions influencing especially pH, sulphur, nitrogen and phosphorus. The return of anaerobic conditions in the sediments have reduced peat decomposition, initiated sedimentation and denitrification and influenced element turnover. Peat site properties such as vegetation and chemical conditions affect the greenhouse gas emissions. Both CO2 and CH4 emissions varied with site type. However, while the bare drained peat did not emit much CH4, the tussocks on drained peat showed higher values. This suggests that the plants can (i) emit CH4, (ii) promote the transport of CH4 from the soil to the atmosphere and/or (iii) promote the formation of CH4 in the soil

Published in

Title: Program and Abstracts : International Symposium on Responsible Peatland Management and Growing Media Production

Publisher: Université Laval and International Society for Horticulture Science

Conference

International Symposium on Responsible Peatland Management and Growing Media Production