News/All pieces

Hiring

Five jobs in joint project PaludiZentrale

16/08/2023 From 2023-2033, the PaludiZentrale will support the implementation of five model and demonstration projects of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) on peatland protection and paludiculture, as well as organize, monitor and comprehensively evaluate the scientific support in close cooperation with local partners. The PaludiNetz is being set up for exchange and networking and four pilot projects for peatland protection funded by the BMUV are being integrated. The transdisciplinary joint project is carried out by the University of Greifswald, the Michael Succow Foundation, both partners in the Greifswald Mire Centre, and the Thünen Institute.

There are five scientist positions (TV-L 13, 10 years) to be filled in landscape economics as of October 1st, 2023.

  • AP Planning, Establishment and Crop Production (100%)
  • AP exploitation and marketing (100%)
  • AP Business Administration I (75%)
  • AP Business Administration II (50%)
  • AP Socioeconomics (50%)

As an integrative umbrella brand for peatland-related activities at the Greifswald location, the Greifswald Mire Centre offers a dynamic research environment and a committed team. It is attractive as a regionally to globally networked, influential interface where basic and applied research is carried out, know-how is implemented and inter- and transdisciplinary, scientifically based political and social advice is provided. Apply now by August 21, 2023!

More peatlands in Wikiverse

Wikipedians visit GMC

20/06/2023 On a three-day NaTour from June 9th to 11th, visitors from the Wikipedia universe came to the Greifswald Mire Centre (GMC). The common idea: exchange knowledge and offer and develop more content about peatlands with articles, images or data on the various platforms around Wikipedia. On the one hand, this strengthens the ecology contributions on Wikipedia and, on the other hand, makes knowledge about peatlands and their importance for climate protection available to more people.

There were four free and public workshops on Friday: firstly, know-how from the Wikipedians for those interested - from an introduction to the Wiki world to instructions for writing articles, uploading images to Wikimedia Commons and getting to know Wikidata. In the evening, Franziska Tanneberger, director of the Greifswald Mire Center, presented this in more detail for the Wikipedians in an hour.

Saturday and Sunday were full of moorland know-how for the five visitors. The start was on the restored Karrendorfer Wiesen coastal floodplain, which is partly a nature reserve. Grazing and seasonal flooding have formed an anthropozoogenic salt grassland here, a type of peatland that today only occurs in a few places on the Lagoon coast in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. In the afternoon we continued to a test area for cattail cultivation on Lake Kummerow. Here, the PaludiPROGRESS project at the University of Greifswald is researching how cattail species can be grown in paludiculture as economic crops and raw material suppliers, for example for insulation and building materials or packaging materials. The area offered an open-air lecture on measuring greenhouse gas emissions using hoods or Eddy-Covariance-towers.

A dense program on Sunday: How plant growth and water levels are related and analyzed with regard to emissions from soils could be found out at the fully automated mesocosm facility at the Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology (LaÖk) at the University of Greifswald. “Moor Pope” Hans Joosten welcomed the Wikipedians in the Program Library for Peatlands and Nature Conservation (PeNCIL). With more than 25,000 publications, this library offers some GLAM potential on the peatland topic. The Wikipedians found out how much the ongoing drought can threaten current research in the peat moss laboratory of the LaÖk Institute, where a dozen species of peat moss are bred and examined. After more than two months without precipitation, the rain barrels for irrigation water were almost empty. If the drought continues, we will have to make our own rainwater, say the scientists. In this context, cultural traditions such as rain songs were also remembered. The intensive weekend made it clear: the visit was just a prelude. In addition to the Wiki entries and images that were edited during the visit (see documentation), the next step will be an online lecture by Wikipedia colleague Daniel Mietchen at the GMC. This highlights further possibilities for more freely available moor knowledge in the Wikiverse.

Open letter on peatlands in the NRL

Proposed EU Nature Restoration Law under threat

12/06/2023 Today an open letter calling for ambition on peatlands in the EU Nature Restoration Law was published and distributed to EU institutions and member of European Parliament. The letter was coordinated by the International Mire Conservation Group, the Greifswald Mire Centre, the Michael Succow Foundation and Wetlands International Europe. Some 50 organisations in a broad coalition of conservationists, scientists and farmers caring for peatlands across the EU have signed the letter. This week, the Nature Restoration Law is negotiated in the European Parliament. The signatories urge the Members of the European Parliament and the Council to adopt the Nature Restoration Law as swiftly as possible, before 2024, and to adopt the level of ambition included in the European Commission’s proposal and not dilute peatland restoration targets.

New Newsletter

Harakeke, UK peat ban and bog must-see

06/09/2023 Our new newsletter is now published in an online format so that it can also be easily received on mobile devices.
In the current issue we report, among other things, on Harakeke as a possible paludiculture plant in New Zealand, on the status of the peat ban in the United Kingdom and on four long-term paludi projects in Germany. Read now and best subscribe...

No fun facts

New GMC info paper

01/06/2023 No fun facts: The organic soils of Germany's five most peatland-rich federal states emit more than their forested areas sequester - a total of 13.4 million t CO2 eq. goes into the atmosphere each year instead of into a sink. In a comparison of the German states, Lower Saxony has the highest emissions from drained peat soils, with 18 million t CO2 eq. per year. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, these make up the largest share of the state's total emissions, at 39%. Our new briefing paper succinctly summarizes the role organic soils play in greenhouse gas emissions in the five most peatland-rich German states. The good news here is that peatlands hold great climate protection potential! The picture can be changed enormously if we stop draining the peatlands. What exactly can be done to make faster progress with this can be read in more detail in the new GMC paper "Obstacles and Solutions for Accelerated Planning and Approval of Peatland Climate Protection - Results of a Stocktaking in the Peatland-Rich German States". It addresses land availability, planning and procedures, conflicting goals, capacity and specialized knowledge, and funding. For the inventory, the authors conducted 45 interviews with representatives from implementation projects and other authorities.

Q&A on peatland rewetting

EU Nature Restoration Law and the Soil Health

22/05/2023 Negotiations on the Nature Restoration Law (NRL) and the Soil Health Law are ongiong amongst EU parliament and EU council. Considering the role of peatland restoration appropriately for both, it's vital for stakeholders to understand it. That's why the Greifswald Mire Centre, in which the Succow Foundation ist a partner, and further partner assembled seven concise Q&As. Find answers on
- the difference between rewetting and restoration
- costs and benefits of these activities
- availability of data on peatland distribution and condition,
compatibility of rewetting with productive land use and food security
- methane emissions after rewetting.

How to paludiculture? 

How to paludiculture? (Picture: BioFilm)

Yes, we can … do it, new film shows

15/05/2023 Paludiculture – just a buzzword? More open questions than possibilities promised? Clearly no! Agriculture on wet and rewetted peatlands is urgently needed to combat the climate crisis. How to – that’s of real interest to farmers, landowners and politicians in peatland rich countries all over Europe. That’s why 50 people from 10 EU member states had a look at paludiculture sites in Northern Germany, guided by scientists and implementation experts of Greifswald Mire Centre and Succow Foundation. Our new film "How to paludiculture?" shows what the participants learned along the 5-day paludiculture study tour. It presents their burning questions, needs and perspectives as well as projects and experience already existing and made by paludiculture pioneers here. A lot to take home not only for them – please spread to your community, too! This film was prepared in the project EUKI - Carbon capturing by Baltic peatland farmers financed by the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) and the toMOORow project. Both are projects of Succow Foundation and partners.

Save the Date (for wetter faster)

Conference: Accelerating peatland climate protection

28/02/2023 The German Federal Foundation for the Environment and the Greifswald Mire Centre jointly invite you to the conference Accelerating peatland climate protection - How to bring peatland rewetting to grande scale on 1st June 2023. In order to achieve the German climate protection goals by 2045, peatland protection must take up speed. But hurdles are still high. The Action Programme for Natural Climate Protection and the National Peatland Protection Strategy now offer the opportunity to remove obstacles to peatland protection projects and to accelerate planning and approval at both federal and state level. How this could look like in concrete terms will be demonstrated and discussed during the conference at the DBU Centre for Environmental Communication in Osnabrück, including research results from the Greifswald Mire Centre and experiences from various peatland and climate protection projects in the peatland-rich federal states.

Small peat moss saves CO2 big style

85 percent less carbon dioxide emissions

27/03/2023 Growing peat mosses on rewetted raised bog areas instead of draining them and using them as grassland can save up to 85 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. This was the finding of a research team from the Universities of Rostock and Greifswald, which for the first time has drawn up a greenhouse gas balance for the entire cultivation cycle of peat mosses. The scientists now present the results in the article Full-cycle greenhouse gas balance of a Sphagnum paludiculture site on former bog grassland in Germany in the international journal Science of the Total Environment. They thus provide further arguments for the MOOSstart project that has just begun. In the three-year joint project of the University of Greifswald together with partners, the cultivation of peat mosses in paludiculture is to be promoted. In the process, the production of seeds for the small plant is to be advanced on a large scale in a bioreactor.

The project with the detailed title "Yield increase and upscaling of seed production and application as an initial for the cultivation of renewable peat moss biomass in paludiculture" is carried out by the universities of Greifswald and Freiburg, as well as the Hochschule Anhalt and the practical partner Niedersächsische Rasenkulturen (NIRA). MOOSstart is further developing a process in which vegetative plant material is sterilely propagated in a photobioreactor, constructing a low-cost bioreactor for this purpose and testing it. It is also working on suitable technology for sowing the seeds produced and is developing methods to increase crop yields. The scientists would like to make a contribution to climate-neutral peatland use and substrate management.

Mean Methane and what to do with it

Peatlands and methane - how is that actually?(Illustration: GMC per canva)

New Factsheet available

20/12/2022 In a nutshell, our new factsheet explains The role of methane in peatland rewetting. Wet peatlands release methane (CH4), and the climate-damaging greenhouse gas is also produced when rewetting formerly drained areas. It has a much stronger effect on the climate than carbon dioxide (CO2), but remains in the atmosphere for comparably short time. By 2030, methane emissions are to be reduced by 30% worldwide compared to 2020. Does this now argue against restoring peatlands? It doesn't, as the new factsheet explains: Addressing the climate crisis requires reducing atmospheric concentrations of all three greenhouse gases relevant to peatlands (CH4, CO2, nitrous oxide (N2O)). Rewetting effectively reduces long-lived CO2 emissions from peatlands to zero effectively and quickly and is therefore always the right choice for climate protection.