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Research article2016Peer reviewedOpen access

Mitigating wildfire carbon loss in managed northern peatlands through restoration

Granath, Gustaf; Moore, Paul A.; Lukenbach, Maxwell C.; Waddington, James Michael

Abstract

Northern peatlands can emit large amounts of carbon and harmful smoke pollution during a wildfire. Of particular concern are drained and mined peatlands, where management practices destabilize an array of ecohydrological feedbacks, moss traits and peat properties that moderate water and carbon losses in natural peatlands. Our results demonstrate that drained and mined peatlands in Canada and northern Europe can experience catastrophic deep burns (>200 t C ha(-1) emitted) under current weather conditions. Furthermore, climate change will cause greater water losses in these peatlands and subject even deeper peat layers to wildfire combustion. However, the rewetting of drained peatlands and the restoration of mined peatlands can effectively lower the risk of these deep burns, especially if a new peat moss layer successfully establishes and raises peat moisture content. We argue that restoration efforts are a necessary measure to mitigate the risk of carbon loss in managed peatlands under climate change.

Published in

Scientific Reports
2016, Volume: 6, article number: 28498
Publisher: NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP

      SLU Authors

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG13 Climate action

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences
    Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
    Ecology

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/srep28498

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/79712