The role of peatlands in climate regulation

Hans Joosten, Andrey Sirin, John Couwenberg, Jukka Laine, Pete Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction Peatlands are the world’s most important terrestrial ecosystems with respect to carbon (C) storage, and act as a source and sink for GHGs. In this chapter we outline the importance of peatlands in climate regulation and we describe the effects of drainage and restoration. Peatlands and climate regulation Description, status and trends Peatlands are the largest terrestrial store of organic carbon Peatland ecosystems (including peat and vegetation) contain much more organic carbon than other terrestrial ecosystems. In the (sub)polar zone, peatlands contain on average 3.5 times more carbon per hectare than ecosystems on mineral soil; in the boreal zone seven times more carbon; and in the humid tropics as much as 10 times more carbon (Joosten and Couwenberg 2008). While covering only 3% of the world’s land area, peatlands contain 450 Gt of carbon in their peat (Joosten 2009c; Page, Rieley and Banks 2011a). Peatlands are the largest long-term carbon store in the terrestrial biosphere and among the Earth’s most important stores. The huge carbon stock of peatland ecosystems is attributable to the often thick layers of peat. Peat is a highly concentrated stockpile of carbon because it consists by definition of more than 30% (dry mass) of dead organic material that contains 48-63% of carbon. On average, the peatlands of the world hold a carbon pool in their peat of 1125 t C ha-1 (450 Gt/400 × 106 ha), which is the largest carbon density of any terrestrial ecosystem. The ecosystem with the second most carbon per hectare is the giant conifer forest in the Pacific West of North America, which, before human disturbance, reached only half the carbon density of the average peatland (Joosten and Couwenberg 2008). Estimates of soil C stock to 1 m depth range between 1400 and 1600 Gt C (Smith 2004). Further C is stored deeper: 491 Gt C between 1-2 m depth, and 351 Gt C at 2-3 m depth (Jobbágy and Jackson 2000). The atmosphere (in 1990) contained 750 Gt C, mainly as CO2 and CH4 (Houghton, Jenkins and Ephraums 1990). The global terrestrial plant biomass carbon stock is estimated to be 654 Gt (IPCC 2001) with total global forest biomass holding 335-365 Gt of carbon (Shvidenko et al. 2005).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPeatland Restoration and Ecosystem Services
Subtitle of host publicationScience, Policy and Practice
EditorsAletta Bonn, Tim Allott, Martin Evans, Hans Joosten, Rob Stoneman
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages63-76
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781139177788
ISBN (Print)9781107025189
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

Fingerprint

peatlands
Climate
peatland
Carbon
climate
carbon
Ecosystem
peat
Soil
carbon sinks
terrestrial ecosystem
ecosystems
ecosystem
regulation
Biomass
organic carbon
humid tropics
cold zones
Coniferophyta
mineral soils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Joosten, H., Sirin, A., Couwenberg, J., Laine, J., & Smith, P. (2016). The role of peatlands in climate regulation. In A. Bonn, T. Allott, M. Evans, H. Joosten, & R. Stoneman (Eds.), Peatland Restoration and Ecosystem Services: Science, Policy and Practice (pp. 63-76). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139177788.005

The role of peatlands in climate regulation. / Joosten, Hans; Sirin, Andrey; Couwenberg, John; Laine, Jukka; Smith, Pete.

Peatland Restoration and Ecosystem Services: Science, Policy and Practice. ed. / Aletta Bonn; Tim Allott; Martin Evans; Hans Joosten; Rob Stoneman. Cambridge University Press, 2016. p. 63-76.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Joosten, H, Sirin, A, Couwenberg, J, Laine, J & Smith, P 2016, The role of peatlands in climate regulation. in A Bonn, T Allott, M Evans, H Joosten & R Stoneman (eds), Peatland Restoration and Ecosystem Services: Science, Policy and Practice. Cambridge University Press, pp. 63-76. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139177788.005
Joosten H, Sirin A, Couwenberg J, Laine J, Smith P. The role of peatlands in climate regulation. In Bonn A, Allott T, Evans M, Joosten H, Stoneman R, editors, Peatland Restoration and Ecosystem Services: Science, Policy and Practice. Cambridge University Press. 2016. p. 63-76 https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139177788.005
Joosten, Hans ; Sirin, Andrey ; Couwenberg, John ; Laine, Jukka ; Smith, Pete. / The role of peatlands in climate regulation. Peatland Restoration and Ecosystem Services: Science, Policy and Practice. editor / Aletta Bonn ; Tim Allott ; Martin Evans ; Hans Joosten ; Rob Stoneman. Cambridge University Press, 2016. pp. 63-76
@inbook{c13848ee9f4841afad504d4f8f90a435,
title = "The role of peatlands in climate regulation",
abstract = "Introduction Peatlands are the world’s most important terrestrial ecosystems with respect to carbon (C) storage, and act as a source and sink for GHGs. In this chapter we outline the importance of peatlands in climate regulation and we describe the effects of drainage and restoration. Peatlands and climate regulation Description, status and trends Peatlands are the largest terrestrial store of organic carbon Peatland ecosystems (including peat and vegetation) contain much more organic carbon than other terrestrial ecosystems. In the (sub)polar zone, peatlands contain on average 3.5 times more carbon per hectare than ecosystems on mineral soil; in the boreal zone seven times more carbon; and in the humid tropics as much as 10 times more carbon (Joosten and Couwenberg 2008). While covering only 3{\%} of the world’s land area, peatlands contain 450 Gt of carbon in their peat (Joosten 2009c; Page, Rieley and Banks 2011a). Peatlands are the largest long-term carbon store in the terrestrial biosphere and among the Earth’s most important stores. The huge carbon stock of peatland ecosystems is attributable to the often thick layers of peat. Peat is a highly concentrated stockpile of carbon because it consists by definition of more than 30{\%} (dry mass) of dead organic material that contains 48-63{\%} of carbon. On average, the peatlands of the world hold a carbon pool in their peat of 1125 t C ha-1 (450 Gt/400 × 106 ha), which is the largest carbon density of any terrestrial ecosystem. The ecosystem with the second most carbon per hectare is the giant conifer forest in the Pacific West of North America, which, before human disturbance, reached only half the carbon density of the average peatland (Joosten and Couwenberg 2008). Estimates of soil C stock to 1 m depth range between 1400 and 1600 Gt C (Smith 2004). Further C is stored deeper: 491 Gt C between 1-2 m depth, and 351 Gt C at 2-3 m depth (Jobb{\'a}gy and Jackson 2000). The atmosphere (in 1990) contained 750 Gt C, mainly as CO2 and CH4 (Houghton, Jenkins and Ephraums 1990). The global terrestrial plant biomass carbon stock is estimated to be 654 Gt (IPCC 2001) with total global forest biomass holding 335-365 Gt of carbon (Shvidenko et al. 2005).",
author = "Hans Joosten and Andrey Sirin and John Couwenberg and Jukka Laine and Pete Smith",
year = "2016",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1017/CBO9781139177788.005",
language = "English",
isbn = "9781107025189",
pages = "63--76",
editor = "Aletta Bonn and Tim Allott and Martin Evans and Joosten, {Hans } and Rob Stoneman",
booktitle = "Peatland Restoration and Ecosystem Services",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
address = "United States",

}

TY - CHAP

T1 - The role of peatlands in climate regulation

AU - Joosten, Hans

AU - Sirin, Andrey

AU - Couwenberg, John

AU - Laine, Jukka

AU - Smith, Pete

PY - 2016/6

Y1 - 2016/6

N2 - Introduction Peatlands are the world’s most important terrestrial ecosystems with respect to carbon (C) storage, and act as a source and sink for GHGs. In this chapter we outline the importance of peatlands in climate regulation and we describe the effects of drainage and restoration. Peatlands and climate regulation Description, status and trends Peatlands are the largest terrestrial store of organic carbon Peatland ecosystems (including peat and vegetation) contain much more organic carbon than other terrestrial ecosystems. In the (sub)polar zone, peatlands contain on average 3.5 times more carbon per hectare than ecosystems on mineral soil; in the boreal zone seven times more carbon; and in the humid tropics as much as 10 times more carbon (Joosten and Couwenberg 2008). While covering only 3% of the world’s land area, peatlands contain 450 Gt of carbon in their peat (Joosten 2009c; Page, Rieley and Banks 2011a). Peatlands are the largest long-term carbon store in the terrestrial biosphere and among the Earth’s most important stores. The huge carbon stock of peatland ecosystems is attributable to the often thick layers of peat. Peat is a highly concentrated stockpile of carbon because it consists by definition of more than 30% (dry mass) of dead organic material that contains 48-63% of carbon. On average, the peatlands of the world hold a carbon pool in their peat of 1125 t C ha-1 (450 Gt/400 × 106 ha), which is the largest carbon density of any terrestrial ecosystem. The ecosystem with the second most carbon per hectare is the giant conifer forest in the Pacific West of North America, which, before human disturbance, reached only half the carbon density of the average peatland (Joosten and Couwenberg 2008). Estimates of soil C stock to 1 m depth range between 1400 and 1600 Gt C (Smith 2004). Further C is stored deeper: 491 Gt C between 1-2 m depth, and 351 Gt C at 2-3 m depth (Jobbágy and Jackson 2000). The atmosphere (in 1990) contained 750 Gt C, mainly as CO2 and CH4 (Houghton, Jenkins and Ephraums 1990). The global terrestrial plant biomass carbon stock is estimated to be 654 Gt (IPCC 2001) with total global forest biomass holding 335-365 Gt of carbon (Shvidenko et al. 2005).

AB - Introduction Peatlands are the world’s most important terrestrial ecosystems with respect to carbon (C) storage, and act as a source and sink for GHGs. In this chapter we outline the importance of peatlands in climate regulation and we describe the effects of drainage and restoration. Peatlands and climate regulation Description, status and trends Peatlands are the largest terrestrial store of organic carbon Peatland ecosystems (including peat and vegetation) contain much more organic carbon than other terrestrial ecosystems. In the (sub)polar zone, peatlands contain on average 3.5 times more carbon per hectare than ecosystems on mineral soil; in the boreal zone seven times more carbon; and in the humid tropics as much as 10 times more carbon (Joosten and Couwenberg 2008). While covering only 3% of the world’s land area, peatlands contain 450 Gt of carbon in their peat (Joosten 2009c; Page, Rieley and Banks 2011a). Peatlands are the largest long-term carbon store in the terrestrial biosphere and among the Earth’s most important stores. The huge carbon stock of peatland ecosystems is attributable to the often thick layers of peat. Peat is a highly concentrated stockpile of carbon because it consists by definition of more than 30% (dry mass) of dead organic material that contains 48-63% of carbon. On average, the peatlands of the world hold a carbon pool in their peat of 1125 t C ha-1 (450 Gt/400 × 106 ha), which is the largest carbon density of any terrestrial ecosystem. The ecosystem with the second most carbon per hectare is the giant conifer forest in the Pacific West of North America, which, before human disturbance, reached only half the carbon density of the average peatland (Joosten and Couwenberg 2008). Estimates of soil C stock to 1 m depth range between 1400 and 1600 Gt C (Smith 2004). Further C is stored deeper: 491 Gt C between 1-2 m depth, and 351 Gt C at 2-3 m depth (Jobbágy and Jackson 2000). The atmosphere (in 1990) contained 750 Gt C, mainly as CO2 and CH4 (Houghton, Jenkins and Ephraums 1990). The global terrestrial plant biomass carbon stock is estimated to be 654 Gt (IPCC 2001) with total global forest biomass holding 335-365 Gt of carbon (Shvidenko et al. 2005).

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85048442251&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1017/CBO9781139177788.005

DO - 10.1017/CBO9781139177788.005

M3 - Chapter

SN - 9781107025189

SP - 63

EP - 76

BT - Peatland Restoration and Ecosystem Services

A2 - Bonn, Aletta

A2 - Allott, Tim

A2 - Evans, Martin

A2 - Joosten, Hans

A2 - Stoneman, Rob

PB - Cambridge University Press

ER -