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Tools and scenarios for sustainable management of european peat soils to protect associated landscapes and natural areas in relation to agricultural production

Objective

Peat ecosystems are fragile with important biological and hydrological functions. Substantial areas of peat lands are reclaimed. However, as soon as agricultural peat lands are drained, decomposition of organic matter starts resulting in irreversible subsidence of up to 3 cm per year destroying associated landscapes and wetland habitats. The decomposition causes GHG emissions and leaching of released nutrients. The decomposition of peat will increase with at least 30 % in 50 years if temperature rises by climate change. Water and land use management have a decisive impact on the decomposition rates. In the project models and a decision support system are developed to predict impacts of climate change and water and land use management on decomposition, subsidence, GHG emissions and nutrient leaching. Scenarios are run to determine best management strategies to minimise decomposition and subsidence rates of agricultural peat soils and to conserve nature reserves / wetlands. In planned scenario studies peat land regions are considered as an integrated system combining classical and organic agriculture, landscape and nature. The socio-economic implications of the required management strategies are investigated.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

ALTERRA B.V.
Address
Droevendaalsesteeg 3A
6700 AA Wageningen
Netherlands

Participants (3)

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY
United Kingdom
Address
Silsoe Campus Wharley End
MK45 4DT Silsoe,bedford
JORDFORSK - CENTRE FOR SOIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH
Norway
Address
Frederik A. Dahls Vej 20
1432 Aas
WARSAW AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY
Poland
Address
Nowoursynowska 166
02 787 Warszawa