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Sphagnum Species of the World

Sphagnum Species of the World

Cover "Spaghnum Species of the World"

New book by GMC’s peat moss expert

05/12/2019 The comprehensive volume Sphagnum Species of the World by Sphagnum expert Dr. Dierk Michaelis has just been released in English. Peat mosses are of key ecological and economic importance among the mosses and populate almost all continents. In the book 292 Sphagnum species are described in detail and presents keys for their identification, supplemented by data on habitats, geographical distribution and lists of synonyms. 435 pages strong, the volume issued by Schweizerbart Science Publishers represents the updated, supplemented English language version of the author's original peat moss flora of 2011 (in German), the first overall presentation of Sphagnum since Carl Warnstorf's "Sphagnologia Universalis" of 1911. Thus, the Greifswald Mire Centre proudly congratulates its member and author Dierk Michaelis!

 

Sit-in in the fisherman’s fountain

Sit-in in the fisherman’s fountain

Greifswald Mire Centre at global climate strike

29/11/2019 Despite chilly temperatures and drab weather the GMC members came for a sit-in in the Greifswald fisherman’s fountain during the global climate strike at 29th November. While they had demonstrated in the same fountain in September - but standing - they now wanted to show: The climate crisis is getting more dramatic than anticipated and sea levels are rising. Worldwide three times more people will be affected by coastal flooding than hitherto predicted. We will not only get wet feet, but climate change will severely affect us if we do not take action. Global climate goals cannot be achieved without rewetting of peatlands worldwide. It is one of the most time- and cost-effective measures for climate protection but still rarely considered. In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 30 % of the federal state’s greenhouse gas emissions are caused by peatland drainage – an amount that could largely be mitigated by rewetting.

 

PRIMA: Milestone reached

PRIMA: Milestone reached

Typha and reed now grow on 8 ha

26/09/2019 After several months of preparation, young Typha seedlings were planted mechanically and reed seedlings were planted manually on the 8 hectare pilot site at Neukalen (MV), which was then rewetted. Within the next 2.5 years, the field trial will generate practical information on the technical implementation, plant growth, biomass quality and economic efficiency of Typha and reed paludicultures. With good growth, the first harvest is planned for next year. Additionally, mesocosm experiments, genetic investigations and knowledge transfer are carried out in the Paludi-PRIMA project. The project of University of Greifswald and Research Centre for Agriculture and Fisheries Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL).

              

Installing the pilot site for cultivation of reed and typha wihtin the PRIMA project (Photos: T. Dahms)

Fact paper on Germany’s climate programme 2030

Fact paper on Germany’s climate programme 2030

Peatland protection as nature-based solution

23/09/2019 The document "Key points for the climate protection programme 2030" published by the Federal Government on 20.09.2019 names sector-specific measures. For the agriculture and forestry sector, no concrete implementation steps have been laid down under "Protection of peat soils / Reduction of peat use in growing media (36)". The GMC fact paper "Peat soil protection as a nature-based solution in the climate protection programme 2030 - rapid cessation of peatland drainage necessary for effective climate protection" compiles the initial situation, potentials and concrete proposals on four pages.

Peatlands must be wet - immediately

Peatlands must be wet - immediately

WETSCAPES Conference (Photo: F. Tanneberger)

160 scientists agree at WETSCAPES conference

13/09/2019 Peatlands must be wet - immediately. A quick stop to peatland drainage is necessary to achieve global climate protection goals. This is a summary of the results of the international conference held 10.-13.09.2019 at the University of Rostock. 160 scientists from 20 countries discussed the results of their research in drained, rewetted and near-natural peatlands at the WETSCAPES conference. Representatives from various disciplines talked about plant growth, greenhouse gas emissions, nutrient losses and microbial processes in the soil. Most of these scientists deal with individual phenomena, and together they were able to establish clear relationships and connections between the results. This is particularly important for rewetted peatlands, as these systems represent completely novel ecosystems. The four-year joint research project WETSCAPES (derived from "wet" and "landscapes") is funded by the Excellence Research Programme of the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern with 5 million euros at the Universities of Greifswald, Partner in the Greifswald Moor Centrum, and Rostock. The abstract volume of the conference is available here.

High demand on paludiculture expertise

High demand on paludiculture expertise

Construction material made from paludiculture biomass is of great interest to the visitors. (Phto: Greta Gaudig)

Excursions with international delegations

13/09/2019 During the last two months several delegations from all over the world travelled the north of Germany to be informed about paludiculture projects by the Greifswald Mire Centre. At the end of August, a Ukrainian delegation researched possible requirements for a sustainable, climate-friendly use of recently drained, state-owned peatlands that are to be privatised. The scientists of the GMC explained possibilities for paludiculture in a seminar and showed the harvest of cattail in Kamp and of wet meadow biomass in Neukalen as well as the "paludi biomass heating plant" in Malchin. In mid-September, a Vietnamese delegation visited these sites and travelled to Western Pomerania as part of the Plant3 project. A delegation of Finnish peatland scientists and students also made a stop at the paludiculture sites in the northeast after visiting the Sphagnum farming site in the peatland Hankhauser Moor near Oldenburg (Lower Saxony). Finland now plans to research and implement paludiculture more intensively.

Attaché visit to the GMC

Attaché visit to the GMC

Environmental attachées visit the GMC with Minister Backhaus (Photo: St. Busse)

From Japan to Paraguay interest in peatland expertise in MV

30/08/2019 About 30 agricultural and environmental attachés from 14 countries from Japan to Paraguay, together with Dr. Till Backhaus, Minister of Agriculture and Environment in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, visited the Greifswald Moor Centrum on 29 August. A great opportunity to show what Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Greifswald peatland science have to offer: During a guided tour of the Karrendorfer Wiesen, a successfully revitalised coastal flood mire owned by the Michael Succow Foundation, the attachés were able to see and understand the significance of wet peatlands for biodiversity, climate protection and regional development "on the ground". At the research plots of the WETSCAPES project, part of the MV Excellence Initiative, and the mesocosm facility of the University of Greifswald, GMC representatives showed the current research. One week earlier, Elisabeth Aßmann, Chairwoman of the Agricultural Committee of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, had gained an impression of successfully combined peatland, climate and coastal protection, including innovative value creation, on the same site. Here it became clear that peatland protection and paludiculture must be part of a sustainable agriculture in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Obstacles were also addressed: Rewetting is progressing too slowly in the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Planning and approvals take a long time.

Peatland conservation: Solutions on 84 pages

Peatland conservation: Solutions on 84 pages

Report comprises all results of the MoorDialog project

29/08/2019 The MoorDialog project was funded by the German government’s National Climate Initiative from 2016-2019. Many important stakeholders of peatland and climate protection were reached and involved by events and publications within the project – building a #peatlandsmatter network in Germany. Another result of MoorDialog is the report Klimaschutz auf Moorböden - Lösungsansätze und Best-practice-Beispiele (“Climate protection on peat soils – solutions and Best-practice-examples”, German only), published within the Proceedings of the Greifswald Mire Centre. It recommends a possible transformation path for peatlands in Germany, as it would be necessary to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Now it is necessary to further develop this transformation path in dialogue and to bring the solutions more rapidly into society, politics, the economy and on the ground itself.

Revised RSPO Manual

Revised RSPO Manual

Efforts to make palm oil more sustainable

06/08/2019 The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has revised ist manual on best management practices (BMPs) for management and rehabilitation of peatlands. The review and updating process has been facilitated by Global Environment Centre. The manual includes text and maps provided by the Greifswald Mire Centre.

Peatlands in the desert

Peatlands in the desert

Peatlands in the Uzbek Nuratau (Photo: L. Hebermehl)

Data from Uzbekistan for Global Peatland Database

01/08/2019  There are peatlands in the desert state of Uzbekistan! Researchers of the Succow Foundation, partner in the Greifswald Mire Centre, found them in the high mountain range of the Tian Shan, in the foothills of the Nuratau and along the Syrdarya river. These peatlands with peat layers of 30-70 cm have been largely unknown and are threatened by high-intensity agricultural use and degradation. The data collected during field work in July will be fed into the Global Peatland Database (Link) and will thus expand the global knowledge on peatland distribution. The research was part of the CAViF project of the Succow Foundation and financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.