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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.

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