Claudia Schröder, Vera Luthardt, Florian Jeltsch
Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress
Theme I. Inventory, stratigraphy and conservation of mires and peatlands
Dependent on the specific natural conditions and anthropogenic impact, peatlands provide different ecosystem services to society. Near-natural mires with their potential to accumulate and store materials, regulate the local climate and as habitat for specialised and endangered species, have an outstanding importance especially in times of climate change. In contrast, peatlands used for agriculture or degraded ones have a negative influence on local and global climate and adjacent ecosystems like lakes and flowing waters but provide diverse provisioning services for hundreds of years (Joosten & Clarke 2002). In this area of conflict it is important to gather a complete set of interests and carefully evaluate costs and benefits of contrasting services as a basis for conservation and sustainable management. The concept of ecosystem services provides a suitable framework for such analyses and evaluations.