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CINDERELLA: Progressing paludicultures after centuries of peatland destruction and neglect Hans Joosten, Greifswald University [email protected]
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  • CINDERELLA: Progressing paludicultures after

    centuries of peatland destruction and neglect

    Hans Joosten, Greifswald University

    [email protected]

  • In living peatlands: • Production is larger than decay • Dead plants accumulate as peat

    Kolkheti, Georgia

  • Peat accumulates through water saturation: Natural peatlands are wetlands!

    Scotland

  • Lesotho

    Peat accumulates during thousands of years and stores concentrated carbon in thick layers

    Peat of 2 m deep

  • Very important but not appreciated: the Cinderella Syndrom

    Ruoergai, China

  • Peatlands are the most effective carbon stores of all terrestrial ecosystems

    Kyrgystan

  • While covering only 3% of the World’s land area, peatlands contain 500 Gt of carbon in their peat.

    Germany

  • Germany

    i.e. twice the carbon stock of the world’s total forest biomass

  • Problem: Our arable farming had a semi desert as a cradle…

  • …and has since the idea that productive land must be dry…

    Qatar

  • …and soils continuously be moved…

    Qatar

  • …illusions that we worldwide apply to wet, organic soils…

    Greta Gaudig Germany

  • … with African desert plants on drained peat: Aloe vera…

    Bostang Radjagukguk Kalimantan

  • Germany

    … or semi-arid Maize on drained peat…

  • Palm oil can grow and produce well on peat … or with oil palm on drained peat…

    Marcel Silvius Malaysia

  • …peatland use with problems that we start to see only now...

    Sabine Wichmann Germany

  • …that often does not even allow harvest…

    Jilin, China

  • … a land use that has desertified millions of hectares…

    Ukraine

  • …and in continental areas creates soils like made of stone…

    Ukraine

  • Mobilisation of the carbon stock by peatland agriculture and forestry leads to huge emisisons

    Norway

  • Clear relation between mean water level and annual emissions (CO2, CH4 and N2O)

  • Deeply drained grassland on peat in Germany emits 29 T CO2-eq ha-1a-1 = 145.000 km with middle class car

  • A potato field on peat in Germany emits 37 T CO2-eq ha-1a-1

    = 185.000 km: every hectare, every year

    Bavaria, Germany

    Potatoes from peat are fossil resources…

  • Forests on drained peat generally loose more peat carbon than the trees sequester…

    Jilin, China

    Wood from peat is fossil …

  • Agricultural peatlands in Germany emit almost twice as much CO2 as Jähnswalde, the World’s 7

    th most dirty power station

    Jähnswalde

  • Globally, degraded peatlands emit 2 Gigatonnes CO2 a-1

  • CO2 emission

    Drained peatlands on 0.3% of the land emit 5% of all anthropogenic CO2

  • Indonesia leads the list of global top emitters…

  • The EU is a good second…

    Denmark

  • In Germany peatland agriculture causes annually a climate damage of € 3 billion, and gets 300 million EU-grants (CC)

    Sabine Wichmann

  • Per joule energy „biogas“ from mays from peat causes 8x more climate damage than burning lignite…

  • … and that with subventions under Renewable Energy Law

  • The ‘polluter pays’ principle is put on the

    head:

    We pay peatland agriculture for causing

    massive climate damage

    … and frustrate in this way sensible solutions

  • Drainage

    Mineralisation & emission of N, P

    GHG-emissions

    Compaction

    Peat oxidation

    Loss of peat

    Safety risks

    Climate change

    Moorsackung

    Loss of peat landscape

    Conflicts between functions

    Desiccation of nature

    Eutrophication of protected areas

    Deteriorating water quality

    Increasing drainage costs

    Van de Riet et al. 2014

    Climate damage is merely one of the societal damages …

    1

    2

    3

    4

    5

    6

    7

    8

  • Peatland drainage causes even greater problems: subsidence!

    1939

    2013

    Netherlands

  • drainage wetting

    wet peatland

    subsidence

    … the “devil’s cycle” of peatland utilisation…

  • Bavaria: 3 m loss since 1836 UK: 4 m loss since 1870

    Drainage subsidence (loss of height): 1 -2 cm annually

    former land surface

  • Nether-lands …Nether-lands: bogged down: 1000 yr of peatland drainage,

    now half the country deep under sea level…

  • Nether-lands …Nether-lands: bogged down: 1000 yr of peatland drainage,

    now half the country deep under sea level…

    In tropics

    subsidence 5 times faster!

  • In NE-Germany, ten thousands of hectares have already been flooded as they could not be drained anymore economically

    Germany

  • Many tropical peatlands are coastal and will - with continuous drainage and >2000 mm of rainfall - become undrainable …

  • The ‘ wave’ in oil palm plantations showing subsidence

    Sabah

  • Oil palm plantation on coastal peatland will – in the near future - lead to the loss of substantial tracts of land

    Aljosja Hooijer Sumatra

  • Whereas the sea level rises, we bog the peatlands down….

    sackende Mooroberfläche

  • We are loosing land, now that we need it most: for more people, for less poverty and for replacing fossil resources

    Kalimantan

  • flooding

    salt intrusion

    drainage subsidence

    food security

    acid sulphate soils

    ghg emissions

    fire

    haze

    fodder

    land loss

    fuel

    fiber

    biodiversity loss

    productivity

    That thing with the

    Three gears cannot work.

    Can it, daddy?

    No girl, It can‘t…

    Drained peatland use destroys its own subsistence base

  • corn (Zea mays) or intensive grassland on peatland

    Photo: Gaudig

    No Go!

  • If you need to use them, use them wet: paludicultures!

    Poland

  • Arable use, drainage based utilization, peat extract

    rewetting

    0

    20

    40

    60

    -100 -80 -60 -40 -20 0 20

    Alder

    Reed, Sedges, Cattail

    Reed Canary Grass

    Low intensity utilization

    Nature protected grasslands

    Emissions-

    reduction

    -120 40

    Water table [cm] (medium)

    t C

    O2-e

    qu

    . ha-

    1 a

    -1 (G

    WP

    10

    0)

    Paludiculture

    Uti

    lizat

    ion

    Use of peatlands and GHG emissions

    Low intensity

    utilization of

    peatlands

    Drainage

    based

    peatland

    utilization

    after Jurasinski et al. in Wichtmann, W., Schröder, C. & H. Joosten (Editors) in prep.

  • Emission reduction by peatland rewetting (incl. CO2, CH4, N2O + DOC) after IPCC 2014)

    Initial drained land

    use

    Emission reduction after rewetting

    (t CO2-e ha-1 yr-1)

    Temperate zone Boreal zone

    Forest Land 6 2

    Cropland 28 34

    Grassland 20 25

    Peat extraction sites 9 11

  • New concept Paludiculture*

    • Cultivation of biomass on wet and rewetted peatlands

    bog: peat moss

    fen: common reed, reed canary grass, sedges, alder, ...

    • Utilisation of biomass for industry and energy

    peat conservation

    reducing GHG emissions

    replacing fossil resources

    *„palus“ – lat.: swamp

  • Foto: W. Wichtmann

    Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacia)

    productivity: 3.5 – 15 t DM/ha*a

    emissions: 12 t CO2eq/ha*a

  • Common Reed (Phragmites australis)

    productivity: 3 – >25 t DM/ha*a

    emissions: 10 t CO2eq/ha*a

  • Cattail (Typha spec.)

    Productivity : 5 - 22 t DM/ha*a

    Emissions: 10 - 15 t CO2eq/ha*a

  • Utilization of biomass from paludiculture

    • Industrial use

    • Energetic use

  • Harvesting

    Ratrak mowing device with trailer

    (Picture: L. Lachmann)

    Caterpillar mounted mowing and baling

    device (Picture: S. Wichmann)

    Seiga based field chopper

    (Picture: W. Wichtmann) Pisten-Bully with trailer

    (Picture: W. Wichtmann)

  • CINDERELLA

  • Comparative analysis, INtegration anD ExemplaRy implEmentation of cLimate smart LAnd use practices on organic soils: Progressing paludicultures after centuries of

    peatland destruction and neglect

    CINDERELLA

    Foto: S. Wichmann Foto: C. Schröder Foto: C. Schröder Foto: S. Wichmann

    CINDERELLA Paludiculture

  • General aim of CINDERELLA

    • to extend the scientific base for a sustainable use of wetlands and to make alternative uses accessible to farmers and land authorities. – give an overview on productive species, provenances and breeds;

    – quantify GHG fluxes, C sequestration and nutrient retention as a basis for the assessment of ecosystem services;

    – assess economic characteristics regarding ecosystem services;

    – promote the exchange of scientific and technical knowledge;

    – stimulate the cooperation among partners (countries and regions, private and public stakeholders);

    – optimize synergies between regional climate change mitigation and adaptation;

    – contribute to the necessary transformation of drainage-based peatland agriculture by best practice and stimulating acceptance.

  • Partner Role Responsibilities Specific contributions

    University of

    Greifswald

    (GER)

    General project

    coordination

    Micro- and macro-

    economic assessments

    Outreach and

    dissemination of

    project results

    Ensurance of overall project

    performance

    Coordination of individual

    research contributions

    Economic monitoring and analysis

    of land use concepts

    Socio-economic aspects of CSA on

    peatland

    Biomass utilisation

    Comprehensive knowledge on

    paludicultures

    Peatland library and databases

    Expertise in economic, LCA and

    sustainability assessment

    Extensive network of national

    and international stakeholders

    Aarhus

    University

    (DK)

    Provision of bio-

    genetic expertise

    Applied genetics of Reed

    Selection of varieties for different

    applications

    Interaction of nutrient, soil and

    water systems

    Knowledge transfer

    Expertise in selection of

    genotypes of (mainly) Common

    Reed, Cattail and Giant Reed

    Halmstad

    University (S)

    Coordination of

    studies on nutrient

    retention

    Nutrient fluxes in constructed

    wetlands and peatlands

    Interaction between nutrients

    and harvesting/ site management

    Expertise on constructed

    wetlands for nutrient retention

    Site specific ecological

    parameters and biomass

    utilisation options

    Radboud

    University

    Nijmegen

    (NL)

    Study of crop-soil-

    water-interactions

    (biogeochemistry)

    Coordination of

    (corporate) fieldwork

    Investigations on crop-soil-water-

    interactions (biogeochemistry)

    Coordination of (corporate)

    fieldwork

    Estimation of carbon balance

    Modelling of water level and

    nutrient input to minimise THG

    emissions and nutrient leakage

  • Some activities 2015

    • Kick off meeting with all partners in Greifswald • Regular meetings of project staff in Greifswald • Visit of partners in Nijmegen • Conjoint Field investigations • Analysis of framework conditions in partner countries • Regular internal information (updates) to all partners • Awareness raising and Propagation of paludiculture local

    and abroad, eg. • Belarus • Italy • Poland • Canada • International organisations

  • Thanks for listening

    Black Alder (Alnus glutinosa)

    productivity: 3 – 10 t DM/ha*a

    emissions: 0 t CO2eq/ha*a

  • Using peat as a

    fuel

    • finite fossil resource

    • destruction of natural mires

    • release of Carbon

    from a long-term store

    • net emissions of CO2

    • is unattractive under

    the Kyoto Protocol

    Alternatives for energy from peat

    106 t CO2 per TJ

    Using biomass from wet

    peatlands as a fuel

    • renewable resource

    • restoration of peatlands

    • fixation of Carbon

    into a long-term store

    • emissions reductions of CO2

    • is attractive under the Kyoto

    Protocol and eg. VCS

    - 130 t CO2 per TJ


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