David Wilson, Florence Renou-Wilson, Catherine Farrell and Christoph Mueller
Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress
carbon-dioxide, climate-change, methane, rewetting
Theme X. Peatland carbon budgets and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes
The potential for rewetted peatlands to be utilised in climate change mitigation was examined at an industrial cutaway peatland in North West Ireland. In 2003, following the cessation of milled peat extraction at the study site, the drainage ditches were blocked, peat ridges were constructed and the peatland surface was landscaped to maximise water retention. Since then, extensive re-colonisation of the bare peat surface has taken place and a range of vascular and bryophyte communities exist between rapidly decreasing areas of open water and small remnants of bare peat. Carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes were measured over a three year period (2009-2011) in a range of microsites within the rewetted peatland. All vegetated microsites were a sink for CO2 and suggest that these formerly degraded peatlands located within a region of relatively high rainfall and cool temperatures may be “prime real estate” for climate change mitigation and/or carbon (C) offset projects.