Comparative analysis, integration and exemplary implementation of climate smart land use practices on organic soils: progressing paludicultures after centuries of peatland destruction and neglect
Conventional agriculture and forestry on drained peatlands cause peat degradation, subsidence (up to 2 cm annually), enormous greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (20-40 t CO2 per ha annually) and eventually often a loss of productive land. Rewetting reduces these effects and simultaneously restores other ecosystem services including water and nutrient retention, water purification, flood control, and mesoclimatic cooling.
Paludiculture (lat. palus - swamp) is an innovative concept that allows rewetted peatlands to remain productively used. Paludiculture comprises a change to adapted crop species (Reed, Cattail, Reed Canary Grass, Sedges), harvesting machinery, and biomass utilisation options.
Project Goals & Content
The goals of the CINDERELLA project include:
- maximising biomass production in paludiculture
- minimising GHG emissions and nutrient release
- incorporating ecosystem services
- developing management strategies and transferring them from lab to field
- disseminating this innovative concept across Europe
The transdisciplinary research approach builds on the experience and expertise of the involved partners. The project links information on soil-water-crops interactions as a basis for biomass productivity with genetics related to the productivity of genotypes under different (changing climatic) conditions. The role of nutrient removal, retention and supply is taken into account to improve productivity and to address other ecosystem services.
With a strong science based transdisciplinary approach the project will facilitate a innovative strategy to adapt to climate change – with sustainable peatland utilisation becoming part of resilient agricultural regions.
The transdisciplinary research approach involves partners from Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.