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MILJØFORSK-Miljøforskning for en grønn samfunnsomstilling

Peatland Rewetting In Nitrogen-Contaminated Environments: Synergies and trade-offs between biodiversity, climate, water quality and Society

Alternativ tittel: Restorering av torvmark under nitrogenforurensning: Synergier og kompromisser mellom biologisk mangfold, klima, vannkvalitet og samfunn

Tildelt: kr 2,9 mill.

PRINCESS vil undersøke potensialet for alternative arealbruk på restaurerte torvmarker for å dempe miljøutfordringene i Europa: klimagassutslipp, nitrogenforurensning og tap av biologisk mangfold. Alt relevant EUs politiske mål inkluderer å belaste drenerte torvmarker som en viktig økosystembasert løsning. Til datoen åpenbare synergier og kompromisser både innenfor (f.eks. karbondioksid og metanutslipp) og mellom politiske målsettinger (f.eks. mellom utslipp, biologisk mangfold og økonomisk avkastning) forblir ukvalifiserte. Slik kvantifiseringer avgjørende for å optimalisere mellom alternative arealbruksalternativer for restaurerte torvmarker, dvs. høyintensiv paludikultur, lavintensitet paludikultur og villmark. Det norske bidraget er sentrert rundt prosesser som regulerer klimagassutslipp og tap av karbonlagre under de forskjellige restaureringsalternativene.

PRINCESS will investigate the potential of alternative land uses on rewetted peatlands to tackle the major environmental challenges of Europe: greenhouse gas emissions, nitrogen pollution and biodiversity loss. All relevant EU policy objectives include rewetting drained peatlands as an essential ecosystem-based solution. To the date obvious synergies and trade-offs both within (e.g. between carbon dioxide and methane emissions) and between the policy objectives (e.g. between emissions, biodiversity and economic returns) remain unquantified. Such quantification is crucial for optimizing between alternative land use options for rewetted peatlands, i.e. high-intensity paludiculture, low-intensity paludiculture, and wilderness. PRINCESS will 1) focus on the peatlands which are the largest sources of GHG and affected most by nitrogen loads, i.e. temperate fens. Results, however, are relevant across drained-and-to-be-rewetted peatlands in the temperate and boreal zones. 2) bring together complementary skills from six peatland-rich countries 3) analyse crucial processes under highly controlled conditions in the laboratory and in mesocosms, test them under more realistic conditions in the field, and model and upscale them to catchment and EU scale 4) use these different scales of study to maximize internal (sound interpretation of causal effects) and external (their relevance) validity 5) apply the most advanced techniques and methods from biogeochemistry, microbial ecology, plant ecology, socioeconomic modeling on and across scales, using measurable and quantifiable indicators. PRINCESS will provide vital scientific information for agricultural land use policies for peatlands in the EU by evaluating which land use option after rewetting complies best - under high nitrogen loads - with key policy objectives such as healthy ecosystems, climate change mitigation and adaptation, clean water, fair income to farmers, or, taken together, a greener and more sustainable Europe.

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MILJØFORSK-Miljøforskning for en grønn samfunnsomstilling