Greenhouse gas balance of an establishing Sphagnum culture on a former bog grassland in Germany

A. Günther, G. Jurasinski, K. Albrecht, G. Gaudig, M. Krebs, S. Glatzel
2017 Mires and Peat  
The cultivation of Sphagnum mosses on re-wetted peat bogs for use in horticulture is a new land use strategy. We provide the first greenhouse gas balances for a field-scale Sphagnum farming experiment on former bog grassland, in its establishment phase. Over two years we used closed chambers to make measurements of GHG exchange on production strips of Sphagnum palustre L. and Sphagnum papillosum Lindb. and on irrigation ditches. Methane fluxes of both Sphagnum species showed a significant
more » ... se over the study period. This trend was stronger for S. papillosum. In contrast, the estimated CO2 fluxes did not show a significant temporal trend over the study period. The production strips of both Sphagnum species were net GHG sinks of 5–9 t ha 1 a 1 (in CO2-equivalents) during the establishment phase of the moss carpets. In comparison, the ditches were a CO2 source instead of a CO2 sink and emitted larger amounts of CH4, resulting in net GHG release of ~11 t ha 1 a 1 CO2-equivalents. We conclude that Sphagnum farming fields should be designed to minimise the area covered by irrigation ditches. Overall, Sphagnum farming on bogs has lower on-field GHG emissions than low-intensity agriculture.
doi:10.19189/map.2015.omb.210 doaj:d05cabd11cf340ae9187437a135b8b8a fatcat:pd4vf2lgdrc4xpza4ebdt4pgrm