The Carbon Balance Under Different Agricultural Regimes of Drained Peatland in Ukraine

A. Mykytiuk, R. Truskavetsky, S. Truskavetsky

Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress


agricultural-regimes, carbon-balance, drainage-peatland, peat-soil, ukraine

Mykytiuk et al 2012: The Carbon Balance Under Different Agricultural Regimes of Drained Peatland in Ukraine


Theme X. Peatland carbon budgets and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes


Authors of this paper want to draw the attention of foreign researchers to Ukrainian scientific findings on the problems of contemporary evolution and depletion of drained peatlands. Measurements were made in pilot sites on drained slightly acid low-ash fen situated in the Northwest part of Ukraine. Regularities of anthropogenic change have been studied in areas of perennial grasses, meadow-field and tilled-crop rotations. Studies were conducted in both unfertilized and fertilized sites. Improving the methodology for carbon balance accounting should be considered as a crucial task of modern times. Regularity in the modern evolution of drained fen was found during observations on our pilot sites. It shows itself in the intensity of peat subsidence and depletion. However, such evolutionary alterations in the drained fen strongly depend on the conditions and land-use. The process of peat subsidence and depletion are the most intensive on unfertilized lands with tilled crops during the first years after drainage. Well-developed herbage cover creates optimal conditions for minimizing the intensity of these processes and particularly in losses of organic carbon. The results of our long-term studies show a significant depletion of carbon stocks in a pool of drained fen in unfertilized sites with tilled crops. Losses of dry peat mass have a similar pattern. Rates of peat subsidence and carbon losses are especially high in the first years of fen use but decrease over time.