Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress
Theme II. Peat for horticulture, energy and other uses
Peat deposits as natural formations can be found worldwide. Time of their formation is estimated in millennia. Peat is a slowly renewed natural resource – peat accumulation does not exceed 1 mm per year or approximately 1 t per hectare.
Peat deposits vary in structure and hydrology, have great biological efficiency. Their role in the formation of organic matter, production of oxygen and absorption of greenhouse gases is substantial, similar to or even higher than that of wood. If the structure of a geographical landscape includes peat deposits they have a decisive impact on hydrology of the region and river systems. The important role of peat deposits in the formation of the local climate and creation of specific conditions for faunal and floral biodiversity is well-known. The development of peat deposits in the general process of nature management should not only be rational, but also biosphere compatible. The main thing here is not to allow a misbalance of biosphere processes and circulation of substances and energy at regional level. Systems and actions aimed at minimization of negative transformations of these processes are already developed.