Skip to Main Content
Direct human impacts on the peatland carbon sinkAuthor(s): Jukka Laine; Kari Minkkinen; Carl Trettin
Source: In: Baird, Andrew J.; Belyea, Lisa R.; Comas, Xavier; Reeve, A.S.; Slater, Lee D., eds. Carbon cycling in northern peatlands. geophysical monograph series. American Geophysical Union: Washington D.C. AGU Geophysical Monograph Series, Volume 184. 71-78.
Publication Series: Book
PDF: View PDF (127.62 KB)
DescriptionNorthern peatlands occupy over 3 million km2 globally and contain the largest carbon (C) pool (typically >100 kg C m-2) among terrestrial ecosystems. Agriculture, forestry, and peat harvesting are the principal human-induced activities that alter the peatland and hence the distribution and flux of carbon. As a prerequisite to those uses, the peatland is usually drained, which has long-term effects on the site hydrology and corresponding direct linkages to changes in C dynamics in the vegetation and soils. Soil organic matter decomposition is stimulated following drainage, typically reported as increased CO2 emissions and peat subsidence. The vegetation also changes following drainage, regardless of cropping or harvesting practices, and this change influences the net ecosystem C exchange rate. Peatland drainage tends to reduce CH4 emissions, as a result of a greater aerated surface soil volume. The net global effect of active management of northern peatlands has been to reduce the C pool, because agricultural use is dominant. There remain considerable uncertainties in estimating the C pools, fluxes, and responses to management in peatlands; the issues span inadequate inventories to sampling and measurements in complex settings.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationLaine, Jukka; Minkkinen, Kari; Trettin, Carl. 2009. Direct human impacts on the peatland carbon sink. In: Baird, Andrew J.; Belyea, Lisa R.; Comas, Xavier; Reeve, A.S.; Slater, Lee D., eds. Carbon cycling in northern peatlands. geophysical monograph series. American Geophysical Union: Washington D.C. AGU Geophysical Monograph Series, Volume 184. 71-78.
- Impacts of vegetation fire emissions on the environment, human health, and security: a global perspective
- Human impacts on regional avian diversity and abundance
- Exploring connections between trees and human health
XML: View XML