Wise use of drained peatlands – carbon balance of bioenergy crops on cutover peatlands

N. J. Shurpali, J.T. Huttunen, N.P. Hyvönen, and P.J. Martikainen

After Wise Use – The Future of Peatlands, Proceedings of the 13th International Peat Congress: Peatland After-Use

boreal-environments, carbon-balance, drained-peatlands, eddy-covariance, greenhouses-gases, land-use-change, peat-extraction-for-energy, reed-canary-grass

Shurpali et al. 2008: Wise use of drained peatlands


Four years of continuous eddy covariance measurements of CO2 exchange from a bioenergy crop cultivation on a cutover peatland in eastern Finland are presented in this paper. The cultivation of reed canary grass as a bioenergy crop is gaining importance in Finland. Striking differences existed in the amount and distribution of precipitation and site hydrological conditions among the different measurement years. Years 2004 and 2007 were wet and 2005 and 2006 were dry compared to climatic normals for the region. The ecosystem accumulated atmospheric C in all measurement years, being a strong sink during wet years and a weaker one during dry years. The ecosystem tended to remain a sink for C during wet years even after accounting for the C losses in the form of harvested biomass. These results suggest that the cultivation reed canary grass is a promising land use option on cutover peat soils in Finland.