Drained peatlands are important contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For sound land management policies and decision making, an improved scientific knowledge based of GHG fluxes and transparent and verifiable methods for measuring and accounting for emissions reductions is needed.
PEATWISE builds on past experience and interdisciplinary research to quantify emission factors from different land uses and production systems, agriculture and paludiculture in particular. The process assesses best suitable soil and water management technologies (e.g. elevated water levels) for managed peatlands to reduce GHG emissions and maintain biomass production in different land use systems.
The general water table-GHG relationship as a proxy tool to reduce GHG emissions is critically assessed. Paludiculture, involving production of flooding tolerant species which can be used for biorefinery, biomaterials, fodder and bioenergy, is another mitigation option that is verified. Soil management and addition of foundry sand is tested in field trials. Studies are carried out at various cases across northern Europe and New Zealand.
PEATWISE analyses existing incentive based policy instruments for different ecosystem services in each case study country to develop a coherent strategy that allows complementarity and bundling of governmental and private sector incentive funding schemes.
The project explores the potential of various peatland management practices to sustain production while mitigating greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) across Northern Europe and New Zealand. Measures to elevate the water table during dry conditions is a potential way to control soil processes that release GHGs. However, rewetting is not always possible due to hydrological constraints and is not always limiting GHGs efficiently. More information is still needed before wide scale recommendations can be given to farmers. Permanently rewetting drained peatlands with wet tolerant vegetation as a cropping system is a solution in some areas that can limit GHGs, but our results show that emissions are highly sensitive to water table management. Keeping the water table 10 cm below the soil surface reduced GHGs up to 90 % but with higher water levels (wetter conditions with less than10 cm below surface) no mitigation was achieved. This means that drainage and flooding must be carefully controlled. Adding sand is an old practice to improve trafficability and research show that it can reduce GHG emissions. As with ash additions, long term field experiments are needed to show the benefit.
*At the time of the proposal. Please consider this data as an accurate estimate; it may vary during the project’s lifespan.
Total costs include in kind contribution by grant holders and can therefore be higher than the total requested funding.