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Afforesting drained peatlands?

No viable option, new GMC paper shows

13/05/2024 Although the EU Nature Restoration Law was wiped off the EU’s trilogue-agenda in March, scientists took a close look on what was suggested as a restoration measure during the negotiations: active afforestation of degraded peatlands. Their conclusion: evidence for long term overall climate benefits is lacking. Their recommendation: the NRL should foster true natural ecosystems wherever possible, particularly where those are demonstrably carbon capture systems.
For the article “Active afforestation of drained peatlands is not a viable option under the EU Nature Restoration Law” peatland professor Gerald Jurasinski with colleagues of Greifswald Mire Centre and other European peatland scientists assembled facts of several studies. In most cases CO2 release from peat soil degradation will likely exceed carbon sequestration in the forest biomass, as the paper pubished in Ambio Journal of Environment and Society states. It is pointing out the severe challenges to measure greenhouse gas fluxes in peatland forests both with airtight chambers and eddy covariance technique. Another point of critique: the studies quoted in favor of afforestation do not describe the situation after afforestation of agricultural fields or cutover peatlands.

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