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Restoration of minerotrophic peatlands in Europe and North America: from trial and error to an evidence-based, biogeochemical approach

Leon PM Lamers1
1 Institute for Water and Wetland Research, Aquatic Ecology & Environmental Biology Group, Radboud University Nijmegen

O 12.2 in Restoration and rehabilitation of ecosystems

17.07.2014, 11:20-11:40, H19

Fens represent a large array of ecosystem services, including the highest biodiversity found among wetlands, hydrological services, water purification and carbon sequestration. Land-use change and drainage has severely damaged or annihilated these services in many parts of North America and Europe; restoration plans are urgently needed at the landscape level.

I will review the major biogeochemical constraints on the restoration of rich fens and fen water bodies in agricultural areas in Europe and disturbed landscapes in North America: habitat quality problems: drought, eutrophication, acidification, and toxicity, and provide possible solutions. I will discuss both positive and negative consequences of restoration measures, and their causes.

The restoration of wetland ecosystem functioning and services has, for a long time, been based on a trial-and-error approach. By presenting research and practice on the restoration of rich fen ecosystems, I will demonstrate the importance of biogeochemical and ecological knowledge at different spatial scales for the management and restoration of biodiversity, water quality, carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services, especially in a changing climate.

Finally, I will define biogeochemical target processes that enable scientists, nature managers, water managers and policy makers to choose between different measures and to predict restoration prospects for different types of deteriorated fens and their starting conditions.

Reference: Lamers LPM, Vile MA, Grootjans AP, Acreman MC, Van Diggelen R, Evans MG, Richardson CJ, Rochefort L, Kooijman AM, Roelofs JGM, Smolders AJP (in press). Ecological restoration of rich fens in Europe and North America: from trial and error to an evidence-based approach. Biological Reviews.



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last modified 2014-06-19