Susanne Abel, John Couwenberg & Hans Joosten
Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress
biodiversity, paludiculture, peatland-utilisation, rewetting, wetland-plants
Theme III. Agricultural use of peat and peatlands
Peatlands have been drained and reclaimed for agriculture and forestry in many parts of the world with increasing negative impact on environment and sustainability of production. Paludiculture, the wet cultivation of peatlands, offers a sustainable agricultural alternative that conserves the peat soil and minimizes negative environmental impacts. The cultivation of Phragmites australis as a bioenergy crop or building material illustrates the practicality and economic feasibility of paludiculture (Wichtmann and Schäfer, 2007). Paludiculture furthermore contributes to the conservation of rare species and habitats and to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Next to the few established crops, a wealth of potential crops exists that offer a plethora of possibilities for paludiculture. This paper introduces the ‘Database of Potential Paludiculture Plants’, the DPPP, illustrating the diversity of useful wetland plants in Europe. The utilisation options of these potential crops vary from medical to energy and food crops for humans and animals.