|Towards large-scale paludiculture: addressing the challenges of biomass harvesting in wet and rewetted peatlands||downloads: 484 | type: pdf | size: 807 kB|
Volume 16 (2015) Article 13
Towards large-scale paludiculture: addressing the challenges of biomass harvesting in wet and rewetted peatlands.
by C. Schröder, T. Dahms, J. Paulitz, W. Wichtmann and S. Wichmann
Published online: 21.12.2015
Peatland drainage causes peat degradation, which results in high greenhouse gas emissions and ongoing subsidence of the ground surface. To avoid further land degradation, the rewetting of peatlands is essential. The new land use concept of paludiculture - the use of wet and rewetted peatlands for agriculture and forestry - now offers possibilities for landowners and land managers to continue using these sites under wet conditions. But new challenges arise due to the limited bearing capacity of wet soils, which restricts accessibility for machinery. Whilst many site-specific technical solutions for harvesting on wet peatland are available, it remains unclear whether current machinery is suitable for use in the large-scale implementation of paludiculture. Repeated crossings of the same ground can easily disturb the upper peat layer and cause serious problems for the removal of biomass. In this article we present available machinery and approaches to biomass harvesting; and explore how the number of transport runs required for biomass removal varies with productivity of the site, cargo capacity and working width of the harvesting machinery. The results are used in a discussion of logistics and infrastructure requirements to facilitate the implementation of paludiculture. Whilst there is still considerable scope for improvement of harvesting technologies, our results show that a peat-conserving harvest from wet and rewetted peatlands is possible with adjustments to harvesting technique, logistics and site infrastructure.
Schröder, C., Dahms, T., Paulitz, J., Wichtmann, W. & Wichmann, S. (2015): Towards large-scale paludiculture: addressing the challenges of biomass harvesting in wet and rewetted peatlands. Mires and Peat 16: Art. 13. (Online: http://www.mires-and-peat.net/pages/volumes/map16/map1613.php)
IMCG and IPS acknowledge the work of the reviewers.