How do draining and re-wetting affect carbon stores and greenhouse gas fluxes in peat soils? (systematic review)

What is the rationale?
Peatlands represent an estimated 2-5%of global land cover, yet contain between 30-50% of the world’s soil carbon store. Traditionally peat soils have been managed in a number of different ways, from drainage for forestry production to extraction for use in horticulture or as fuel. More recently, attempts to restore degraded peatland have focused on rewetting. Given their relative importance for carbon storage under a changing climate therefore, it is vital that the impacts of such management practices on greenhouse gas fluxes in peat soils are better understood.

This review is part of a collaboration between Environment Agency Wales (EAW) and the CEBC which aims to produce systematic reviews to inform EAW’s Climate Change Strategy. The review question has been formulated following consultation with the EAW’s policy group through a workshop held in April 2008.

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