Paludiculture – A way to restore ecosystem services of peatlands with continued productive use for economic benefits

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Jan Peters

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Climate-smart land use with close-to-surface groundwater levels (paludiculture) could restore ecosystem functioning and reduce GHG emissions, and thus contribute considerably to reaching restoration and climate mitigation targets. However, adapting peatland agriculture to higher water levels is a challenging task for society. This talk will highlight examples in Europe including which plant cultures are used and how paludiculture delivers synergies between land use with economic benefit and restoration targets with environmental benefit. It needs to be incorporated into national and regional strategies to steer spatial and rural development planning, including delineation of target areas of organic soils to create common understanding for all affected stakeholders (farmers, but also water management, conservation, tourism and others) and authorities. As a basis, updated peatland distribution data is used, which can be merged in GIS and other planning data. Biomass is either used to substitute fossil materials (construction, insulation, horticultural substrates, etc.) or for generating renewable energy for heating and electricity. Environmental benefits are GHG emission reduction, nutrient and water retention, local cooling, and biodiversity, which depends on habitat management. Review of research for the benefits is presented and how it can be implemented into national and international policy frameworks.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Society for Ecological Restoration