Preprint Article Version 2 This version is not peer-reviewed

From Understanding to Sustainable Use of Peatlands: The WETSCAPES Approach

Version 1 : Received: 20 January 2020 / Approved: 22 January 2020 / Online: 22 January 2020 (02:48:40 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 28 February 2020 / Approved: 29 February 2020 / Online: 29 February 2020 (10:44:42 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Jurasinski, G.; Ahmad, S.; Anadon-Rosell, A.; Berendt, J.; Beyer, F.; Bill, R.; Blume-Werry, G.; Couwenberg, J.; Günther, A.; Joosten, H.; Koebsch, F.; Köhn, D.; Koldrack, N.; Kreyling, J.; Leinweber, P.; Lennartz, B.; Liu, H.; Michaelis, D.; Mrotzek, A.; Negassa, W.; Schenk, S.; Schmacka, F.; Schwieger, S.; Smiljanic, M.; Tanneberger, F.; Teuber, L.; Urich, T.; Wang, H.; Weil, M.; Wilmking, M.; Zak, D.; Wrage-Mönnig, N. From Understanding to Sustainable Use of Peatlands: The WETSCAPES Approach. Soil Syst. 2020, 4, 14. Jurasinski, G.; Ahmad, S.; Anadon-Rosell, A.; Berendt, J.; Beyer, F.; Bill, R.; Blume-Werry, G.; Couwenberg, J.; Günther, A.; Joosten, H.; Koebsch, F.; Köhn, D.; Koldrack, N.; Kreyling, J.; Leinweber, P.; Lennartz, B.; Liu, H.; Michaelis, D.; Mrotzek, A.; Negassa, W.; Schenk, S.; Schmacka, F.; Schwieger, S.; Smiljanic, M.; Tanneberger, F.; Teuber, L.; Urich, T.; Wang, H.; Weil, M.; Wilmking, M.; Zak, D.; Wrage-Mönnig, N. From Understanding to Sustainable Use of Peatlands: The WETSCAPES Approach. Soil Syst. 2020, 4, 14.

Journal reference: Soil Syst. 2020, 4, 14
DOI: 10.3390/soilsystems4010014

Abstract

Of all terrestrial ecosystems, peatlands store carbon most effectively in long-term scales of millennia. However, many peatlands have been drained for peat extraction or agricultural use. This converts peatlands from sinks to sources of carbon, causing approx. 5% of the anthropogenic greenhouse effect and additional negative effects on other ecosystem services. Rewetting peatlands can mitigate climate change and may be combined with management in the form of paludiculture. Rewetted peatlands, however, do not equal their pristine ancestors and their ecological functioning is not understood. This holds especially for groundwater-fed fens. Their functioning results from manifold interactions and can only be understood following an integrative approach of many relevant fields of science, which we merge in the interdisciplinary project WETSCAPES. Here, we address interactions among water transport and chemistry, primary production, peat formation, matter transformation and transport, microbial community and greenhouse gas exchange using state of the art methods. We record data on six study sites spreading across three common fen types (Alder forest, percolation fen, and coastal fen) each in drained and rewetted state. First results showed that indicators reflecting more long-term effects like vegetation and soil chemistry showed a stronger differentiation between drained and rewetted state than variables with more immediate reaction to environmental change, like greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Variations in microbial community composition explained differences in soil chemical data as well as vegetation composition and GHG exchange. We show the importance of developing an integrative understanding of managed fen peatlands and their ecosystem functioning.

Subject Areas

fen; paludiculture; rewetting; drainage; matter fluxes; interdisciplinary

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 29 February 2020
Commenter: Nicole Wrage-Mönnig
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: The manuscript has been completely revised following comments by reviewers. It has been substantially shortened and streamlined, Figure quality has been improved and some sources of potential misinterpretation have been removed. Furthermore, two co-authors have been added.
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