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2023

by NK

Dreaming of a wet peatland

"We wish you rewetted peatlands" for 2024

22/12/2023 Dear peatland friends, we at the Greifswald Mire Centre are “Dreaming of a wet peatland” (or many) constantly and, of course, at Christmas, too. But we are not dreaming only, but working hard to make it come true. Great thanks to everybody joining and supporting us in these efforts in the past year! For Christmas “We wish you rewetted peatlands, we wish you rewetted peatlands” and a happy new year! We’ll be continuing in 2024…

 

 

by Helena Plochberger

Biodiversity benefits from paludi-power

New paper in Scientific Reports of Nature

13/12/2023 Data is scarce on how biodiversity is responding to paludiculture. But a new study recently published in Scientific Reports of Nature sheds light on it. A multi-taxon study co-authored by scientists of Greifswald University, partner in the Greifswald Mire Centre, found that paludiculture can support biodiversity conservation in rewetted fen peatlands (DOI 10.1038/s41598-023-44481-0).
The scientists had investigated vegetation, breeding bird and arthropod diversity at six rewetted fen sites dominated by Carex or Typha species in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in northeastern Germany, either unharvested, low- or high-intensity managed. Biodiversity was estimated across the range of Hill numbers using the iNEXT package, and species were checked for Red List status. It became evident that managed sites had high plant diversity, as well as Red Listed arthropods and breeding birds. Thus, they can provide valuable habitat for species even while productive management of the land continues and although these areas are not reflecting historic fen conditions.

by NK

GMC at UNFCCC COP28

SOM Card on events realting to peatlands on COP28 (Photo: Jan Lessmann)

#notalkwithoutpeatlands

02/12/2023 We are, where the talk is - on peatlands, of course! Here is a collection of peatland related (side)events on this year’s world climate summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from 30th November - 12 December 2023. Participation via livestream is possible for most of them:

On Friday 8th December at 3–4:30pm (GMT+4) Franziska Tanneberger, one of the GMC’s directors, starts participation on the ground with joining the panel of Towards a global stocktake for peatlands and other high-carbon ecosystems: status and scaling up potential. Co-organised by Succow Stiftung, Partner in the Greifswald Mire Centre, United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), Wetlands International and Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU), the event is hybrid and can be followed per livestream / ). The direct link will be available from the 7th December.

On Saturday 9th December, in total, there are four peatland events with GMC participation: At 10:00-11:30, an official COP28 Presidency Event discusses Enhancing food and nature linkages for climate action. It is organised by the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) with COP28 Presidency, High Level Climate Change Champions, and many other organisations including Succow Foundation, partner in the Greifswald Mire Centre. Speakers include Ani Dasgupta (President and CEO, World Resources Institute WRI), H.E. Siti Nurbaya Bakar (Minister of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia), Jochen Flasbarth (Secretary of State, Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany), Bruno Pozzi (Deputy Director Ecosystems Division Director, UNEP) and Franziska Tanneberger.
At 1:00-2:30pm (GMT+4) Climate change mitigation through peatland restoration is the topic at the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) hub. Following in livestream on YouTube is possible.
At 3:00-4:30 pm (GMT +4) a team of African and European peatland scientists reports on in a joint side event of the Global Peatland Initiative and UNEP.
Last but not least, at 4:30-6:00 pm a side event in the German Pavilion focusses on Nature-based Solutions meet Circular Economy: Cascading use of biomass (with livestream). Steffi Lemke, Minister of Environment (Germany), Cem Özdemir, Minister of Agriculture (Germany) and Franziska Tanneberger share recent insights into scaling up paludiculture for climate and biodiversity protection together on the panel.

On Sunday 10th December at 10:00-11:30 am (GMT +4), the panel discussion on “Nature-Based solution for Ukraine. From theory to Practice: forest and water” takes place in the Ukraine Pavilion, peatlands included, of course! Franziska Tanneberger presents the current work of Succow Foundation with many partners on protection and restoration of Polisia peatlands in North-Ukraine.
At 2:00-3:30pm (GMT+4) light is shed on “Enabling the triple win for tropical peatland countries – advancing water, biodiversity and carbon measurements” in a joint side event of UNEP, UNCCD, ITPC, MEOF Indonesia at the Land & Drought Resilience Pavilion. The GMC presents maps and results from our work in tropical peatlands.

As a member of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE), Dr Franziska Tanneberger is also a member of the German delegation at the COP. In view of the global rise in emissions, the RNE sees an urgent need for new impetus from COP28. Above all, this concerns the topic of financing climate protection, which the RNE members want to contribute to at the COP.

 

by Dorothee Scheuch

Photovoltaics on peatlands

Interesting? There are jobs here...

11/21/2023 Do you find photovoltaics on #peatlands interesting? Is this possible and - if so - what effects does it have on biodiversity, greenhouse gases, the formation of peat and the growth of biomass? There are currently two job offers for positions for scientific staff in the Peatlands Research and Experimental Plant Ecology working groups at the University of Greifswald - with the option of a doctorate!

by Dorothee Scheuch

Breakthrough in EU Nature Restoration Law

Webinar: What's next?

10/11/2023 Good news is not always bad news! After today's Friday, the EU Parliament, the EU Commission and the European Council agreed on the law to save nature - the EU Nature Restoration Law (NRL) - in the European Union. It is the largest nature conservation law in 30 years and a breakthrough. Peatlands have also now been included in the law - after they were temporarily no longer taken into account in the negotiations. But what exactly is in the law, when does it come into force and what happens next? An express webinar on the NRL - free and for everyone - explains all this online today at 6 p.m.: Jutta Paulus, MEP, negotiator for the EU renaturation law and environmental policy spokesperson for The Greens/EFA in the European Parliament, Jan-Niclas Gesenhues, environmental policy spokesman for the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group in the German Bundestag and Franziska Tanneberger, head of the Greifswald Mire Centre, University of Greifswald, moderated by Maximilian Fries, Managing Director of Europe Calling e.V.

by Dorothee Scheuch

New poster exhibition

More "ruMooren"

25/10/2023 What is a bog and where exactly is it? What do these bogs emit and is that bad? Can peatlands really help us? The compact, mobile poster exhibition at the Greifswald Mire Centre (GMC) provides questions and answers. From October 24th to November 29th it can be seen in the foyer of the Hans Fallada City Library in Greifswald with seven posters based on the texts and with graphics from the Mooratlas, compiled in the MoKKa project. It can then be shown at other locations upon request.

by Dorothee Scheuch

For Library Day

Reading and poster exhibition

10/23/2023 For Library Day 2023 on October 24th: More ruMOORen! While reading from her book "Das Moor" in the Greifswald city library, Franziska Tanneberger takes Hans Fallada camping on swinging ground in Siberia or bird watching in Senegal. It's about the landscapes between water and land on different continents and also right on our doorstep. In combination, the city library is showing the new poster exhibition "More ruMOORen - moory questions and answers with numbers from the Peatland Atlas". The reading begins at 7 p.m. and admission is free. Not to be forgotten on this day: the Peatland and Nature Conservation International Library (PeNCIL) of the Greifswald Mire Centre. The renovation of an old lecture hall is currently underway in order to be able to preserve, present and use the holdings in sufficient space. The opening is planned for 2024. We're looking forward to it.

by Dorothee Scheuch

A market for peatlands

1 million ha in Germany potentially wet and usable

10/13/2023 Nationwide, 1 million hectares of agriculturally used, drained peatlands can be rewetted and their potential for climate protection and the economy can be increased - according to the results of a study commissioned by the toMOORow initiative. In the best case, almost the entire area can be used for climate-friendly wet farming (paludiculture). In the sectors examined, a market share of 15% would have to be achieved for biomass produced on moors. The paper and packaging, construction and insulation materials, energy and plastics industries in particular can use paludi-biomass. The use of renewable raw materials offers great potential in the event of raw material shortages (e.g. wood), replaces fossil resources and thus improves the carbon footprint of companies. At the same time, regional and therefore reliable supply chains are used, which enable savings in transport. The biomass from peatlands is suitable for a wide range of new products and has great potential for both the circular economy and the credible sustainability positioning of companies. “Preliminary study on the creation of scalable value chains for the use of Paludi biomass” is the name of the current publication of the toMOORow initiative, which was launched by the Michael Otto Environmental Foundation and the Succow Foundation. The study examined four scenarios and shows that paludiculture would be possible on an industry-relevant scale and at the same time profitable for owners, producers and users and a big plus for climate protection.

by NK

Power to the Peatlands

Power to the Peatlands (SOM-Card)

Final conference statement

21/09/2023 The landmark conference from 19th to 21th September 2023 in Antwerp, Belgium, aiming to reposition peatlands at the core of European nature and climate policy, came out with a declaration for European policymakers. More than 500 peat experts present co-created this call to action "Empower nature, climate and future now!". In six main points the declaration emphasises: For peatlands we must act now and together! With 15 talks and ten poster presentations, the GMC was represented at the largest gathering of peatland experts ever held on the globe - the ‘Power to the Peatlands’. In the presentations, GMC members answered questions such as how paludiculture can be used in fens to combat eutrophication, biodiversity loss and the climate crisis. Or whether cattails filter enough water for peat moss cultures and how the peatlands of the Baltic Sea region have developed over the last four decades. The poster presentations ranged from cattail and peat moss cultivation in Germany, to analyses of peatland development via satellite data in the Baltic Sea region, to a literature study on peatlands of the Amazon region. The GMC was one of the partner organisations of the conference and supported its preparation in various committees. Via the PRINCESS project, facilitation of the conference declaration was provided.

by Dorothee Scheuch

New: MoorNet

All peatland projects in Germany to click through

09/16/2023 Now online: The MoorNet database lists all peatland projects and funding programs in Germany, whether completed or ongoing, and is continuously updated. On October 11, 2023, it will present itself and its offers online for anyone interested from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event provides an overview of MoorNet and its current status. As part of the national peatlands protection strategy and networking project, MoorNet is intended to support peatlands protection in Germany and organizations and people active in this regard through information about projects, funding instruments, events and new findings as well as other activities. MoorNet is run by Ecologic Institute and Greifswald Mire Centre on behalf of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation.

by Dorothee Scheuch

Peatlands on MeLa 2023

Joint specialist forum of the farmers' association MV and GMC

11/09/2023 How can #peatlands be managed sustainably? Together, the Farmers' Association M-V and Greifswald Mire Centre will address the problems and perspectives at a joint specialist forum at the MeLa agricultural trade fair in Mühlengeez. On Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the entrance to Hall 2, after two short specialist lectures, there will be an opportunity for a detailed discussion about the problems and perspectives of the climate-friendly use of wet moorland.

by Dorothee Scheuch

Necessary for the mire reversal

New: information paper on the climate protection program

10/09/2023 The forest is currently under great scrutiny as a beacon of hope for the LULUCF area of ​​the Climate Protection Program (KSP), but peatlands will become significantly more important. This is what the Greifswald Mire Centre sees and justifies in the Greifswald Mire Centre's current statement on the draft of the 2023 climate protection program. Simply referring to the measures of the Natural Climate Protection Action Program or the National Peatlands Protection Strategy in the KSP is not enough, criticizes the information paper. A change in the moorland should be considered beyond the legislative period and at the same time as the National Strategic Plan of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), including reducing climate-damaging subsidies and providing financial incentives for paludiculture.

by NK

Coming up in English

The Peatland Atlas

07/09/2023 The Mooratlas, which was published in January, has attracted great interest in Germany and - though in German - even beyond- That's why it will now also be available in English for a broad international audience. You can join the launch of the Peatland Atlas on the European political stage in Brussels on September 18th at 12:30 p.m. - on site or via livestream. René Böll, artist and co-founder Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, will speak at the opening. The Peatland Atlas is available online as early as September 11th here.
The Peatland Atlas and its launch are a joint project of Succow Foundation, partner in the Greifswald Moor Centrum, BUND - Friends of the Earth Germany and the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation in cooperation with the Global Peatland Initiative.

Peatland Atlas cover - Creator: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung. This image is licensed under Creative Commons License.

by Dorothee Scheuch

Great Mire Excursion Day

Free of charge, featuring diverse venues, on Sep 8

05/09/2023 On September 8, 2023, a rewetted peatland area and paludiculture can be experienced at the Great Mire Excursion Day on a 10 ha cultivation area for cattail from 11 am - 5 pm.

For peat must be wet, but how and how much? And what comes after that? These are the questions addressed by the joint projects Paludi-PROGRESS, MoKKa, PRINCESS and other peatland and paludiculture projects at the Greifswald Mire Centre, together with various partners. At different stops of our walking tour, we will provide information about our work and you can ask your questions about the following topics, engaging in an exchange with scientists:

  • Peatlands, their climate impact and the concept of paludiculture
  • Cultivation, biomass quality and economic aspects of reed and cattail cultures
  • Biodiversity, peat condition and greenhouse gas measurements in cattail cultivation
  • Water and nutrient balance in cattail cultivation
  • Drones, measurement technology and wireless sensors
  • Utilization of paludiculture biomass

You will be able to observe how greenhouse gas emissions are measured, to travel back in time through the layers of a peat profile, test how it feels to live in a tiny house made of paludiculture materials and, of course, admire the picturesque moor landscape.

Registration for groups of 5 people or more: josephine.neubert@uni-greifswald.de.
Catering: Food will be provided (against payment).
Recommendation: We advise sturdy shoes and weatherproof clothing.
Directions and map of the area (in German): Access to the polder Teichweide from halfway between Neukalen and Lelkendorf, close to the former railway station Lelkendorf. It is possible to park there. The walking distance from the parking lot to the test area is about 1.2 km.

The Excursion Day will be held with the participation of the State Research Institute for Agriculture and Fisheries Mecklenburg Western Pomerania, the Voigt Farm and the Baltic Sea Foundation.

by Dorothee Scheuch

Call for abstracts

for paludiculture session at DAFA conference by 17.09.2023

24/08/2023 From 11th to 14th March 2024, the German Agricultural Research Alliance (DAFA) will host the conference “Agricultural Research on Climate Change” in Potsdam. The Greifswald Mire Centre, together with the Thünen Institute for Agricultural Climate Protection, is hosting the session “Paludiculture: practice-oriented research of project examples in Germany”. In this session, current practice-oriented research on paludiculture will be presented and discussed using various project examples. Various research topics will be addressed: GHG emissions, hydrology & soil, biodiversity, cultivation & management, utilization & marketing, business administration and socio-economics. We welcome contributions from as many paludiculture research projects as possible. Abstracts can be submitted until September 17, 2023.

by Dorothee Scheuch

Three times top ten

Peatland projects priced in UN Decade

23/08/2023 In the UN Decade Project of the Year 2023 competition, there are three projects with GMC participation in the top 10 - a recognition of the importance of peatlands in the climate and biodiversity crisis, but also of the efforts to protect and preserve them.

toMOORow, the initiative with a forward-looking name from the Michael Otto Environmental Foundation and the Succow Foundation, partner in the Greifswald Mire Centre, is committed to wet bogs and sustainable management on peatlands. Its aim is to use the diverse peatland properties for climate and biodiversity protection and also for the economy. In practical terms, it waters areas in Brandenburg, activates companies to utilize paludi biomass and is committed to the necessary political framework. The Karrendorfer Wiesen, an area owned by the Succow Foundation, received one of the ten places as an example of successful restoration. The coastal flood peatland offers 350 hectares of rare salt grassland, where natural coastal and flood dynamics prevail and rare animal and plant species occur, especially limicols and other water birds, while at the same time carbon is stored in the peat.

MoorFutures is also in the top 10. It refers to innovative certificates for the restoration of peatlands. One MoorFutures represents one ton of avoided carbon dioxide from peatlands, and private individuals and companies can use it to actively make a contribution to combating the climate crisis. They were developed in cooperation with scientists from the GMC and the Ministry of the Environment of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The United Nations has declared the years 2021 to 2030 as the UN Decade for the Restoration of Ecosystems. They assume that the next ten years will be crucial in the fight against climate change and global species extinction. Restoring damaged ecosystems is central to this. That's why the United Nations wants to use this UN Decade to mobilize people around the world to recognize the benefits of ecosystems and work to restore them. They also want to create the necessary political will to restore ecosystems. In Germany, the Federal Environment Ministry (BMUV) and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) honor current, representative projects for the restoration, preservation or maintenance of ecosystems. The projects mentioned are among the top 10 in the “Mires and Wetlands” competition round.

by Dorothee Scheuch

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!

by Dorothee Scheuch

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.

by NK

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.

by NK

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...

by Dorothee Scheuch

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.

by Helena Plochberger

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.

by NK

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.

by RB

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.

by Dorothee Scheuch

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.

by NK

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.

by RB

More wet peatlands than expected

New study in Nature

8/02/2023 The global loss of wetlands is smaller than previously assumed, according to the recent study Extensive global wetland loss over the last three centuries in the internationally renowned scientific journal Nature. Peatland scientists from the University of Greifswald, partner in the Greifswald Mire Centre, have contributed data from their Global Peatland Database and from the historical holdings of the local peatland library. The results now help to better assess the climate impact of peatlands, e.g. to quantify the change in carbon storage and in methane emissions. It also allows conclusions to be drawn about the impact of wetland loss and how wetland restoration can be better planned .

The study by an authors' collective led by Standford University shows that only 21-35% of the world's wetlands have been lost since 1700, instead of 50-87% as previously thought. In a historically first reconstruction, the scientists combed through thousands of records of drainage and land-use change in 154 countries for the study to compare them with the current distribution of drained and altered wetlands to get a picture of the state since 1700.

"In terms of area, the loss is not as great as is often claimed. What seems to be good news at first glance, however, should not deceive us. Worldwide, about four million km² of wetlands have disappeared, of which about 0.5 million km² are wet peatlands. However, drained peatlands are responsible for 4-5% of global greenhouse gas emissions: they are relatively small areas but with huge consequences!" says Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans Joosten, emeritus professor and co-author of the study.

by RB

On World Wetlands Day

Peatlands in audio

2/02/2023 On the occasion of the World Wetlands Day on 2nd February, Greifswald has "Peatland on your ears". On this day, for the first time an audio walk will be published via the local  Greifswald App and will take you to the peatlands around Greifswald. So - download the app onto your smartphone or tablet - and off you go.

The walk across the "meadows near Greifswald", which Caspar David Friedrich captured in his painting of the same name, is a bit like "I spy with my little eye". There is much to discover that is not visible at first glance. For instead of meadows, the painter's painting actually shows peatlands outside the city gates.

All those interested are cordially invited to try out the peatland walk on the World Wetlands Day on Thursday 2nd February. Together with Lord Mayor Dr. Stefan Fassbinder, the new professor for "Peatland Research / Peatland Science" at the University of Greifswald, Gerald Jurasinski, the SPD Member of Parliament Anna Kassautzki and the organic farmer Dörte Wolfgramm-Stühmeyer, they will walk across the Steinbecker Suburban polder. They will be accompanied by Christina Lechtape from the Succow Foundation, partner in the Greifswald Mire Centre, which was in charge of developing the walk in the MoKKa project, Thomas Beil, managing director of the Greifswald Agricultural Initiative, and moor manager Annie Wojatschke, who contributed to the audio walk. The meeting point is at 2 pm at the Steinbecker Vorstadt pumping station - with smartphone in hand and downloaded app, of course.

The audio walk is based on the brochure Moore bei Greifswald, published by the Succow Foundation.

by RB

Totally new: peatland professor and professorship

Welcome to Dr Gerald Jurasinski

16/01/2023 With Dr. rer. nat. Gerald Jurasinski, the new W3 professorship for Peatland Science at the University of Greifswald has been filled since the beginning of 2023. This makes the University of Greifswald the only university with a peatland science professorship in Germany. The creation of the professorship, agreed in 2018 by the University of Greifswald and the state government of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (M-V), takes the tradition and excellence of Greifswald's peatland research, as well as the high proportion of peatland in the state's land area into account.

The Greifswald Mire Centre, in which the University of Greifswald is a partner, is extremely pleased about the strengthening of research and teaching: "We have been engaging to establish this position with many allies since 2015 and are very grateful to all supporters that the professorship could finally be filled with Gerald Jurasinski," Dr. Greta Gaudig and Dr. Franziska Tanneberger from the Greifswald Mire Centre say. Dr. Gerald Jurasinski has ambitious plans for the professorship: "We need to make much faster progress in peatland rewetting. Our research will show how we can do better. In doing so, we not only want to generate knowledge, but also disseminate it and further develop Greifswald as a central hub of peatland expertise. Among other things, we want to continue building a network with many national and international partners that measures greenhouse gas emissions and other ecosystem services of peatlands in M-V and beyond. Our results will help us to act in the right way, especially with regard to climate protection."

Those interested can meet Dr Jurasinski at the public lecture “A brief history of research on greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands in northern Germany” on 17th January at 6 pm at the Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg or during a short walk across Greifswald's peatlands on the occasion of World Wetlands Day on 2 February. The walk starts at 2 p.m. at the Stralsunder Straße bridge at the harbour.

For more information, see the GMC press release on the peatland professorship.

by RB

Out now: Peatland Atlas

The first ever - hot off the press and online

10/01/2023 Peatlands are not scary, they are incredibly important - the fight against the climate crisis, biodiversity conservation and simply for all of us. This is still known far too little. With the Peatland Atlas - Facts and Figures on Wet Climate Protectors, the publishers Heinrich Böll Foundation, Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) and the Michael Succow Foundation, partners in the Greifswald Mire Centre, are working to change that. On Tuesday 10th January, they will present the Peatland Atlas in a press conference in Berlin and online.

On 50 pages and with 52 illustrations, the Peatland Atlas 2023 not only highlights the history of peatlands, their importance as unique habitats for the global climate and biodiversity, and their destruction with local and global consequences. It also explains how we can protect peatlands and restore their functionality. It shows the potentials of wet peatlands for climate protection and opportunities for their wet use, paludiculture, and at the same time how politics and society can act now.