Effecten van vernatting op biogeochemie en vegetatie

Willem-Jan Emsens, Rudy van Diggelen, Camiel Aggenbach & Fons Smolders

kleine zeggenvegetatie, fosfor, ijzer, koolstof, laagveen

Een eeuwenlange historie van antropogene ontwatering en versnippering heeft diepe sporen achtergelaten in het Europese beekdallandschap. Ongestoorde beekdalvenen komen nauwelijks meer voor, en de venen die nog resteren hebben vaak grote veranderingen doorgemaakt in biogeochemie en vegetatie. Veenherstel door grootschalige vernatting is nu de enige weg voorwaarts, maar het is de vraag of deze maatregel toereikend is voor biogeochemisch herstel.

Restoration of drained peatlands. Effects of rewetting on biogeochemistry and vegetation

Willem-Jan Emsens, Rudy van Diggelen, Camiel Aggenbach & Fons Smolders

Small sedge vegetation, phosphorus, iron, carbon, fens

Rewetting is a first crucial step in the restoration of longterm drained groundwater-fed peatlands (fens). However, a complete recovery of local biogeochemical conditions and vegetation is unlikely within the short term (< few decennia). Drainage has triggered the irreversible loss of soil organic matter, the mobilization of nutrients, and the loss of target species of small sedge and brown moss communities. Although rewetted fens are often dominated by tall sedges and reeds rather than low-productive
small sedge communities, this is already an improvement compared to the vegetation under drained conditions. Currently, it remains uncertain whether species-rich small sedge and brown moss communities will recover over a longer time span of several decades to centuries. More rigorous restoration measures, including removal of the degraded top soil or species re-introduction, may be required to facilitate recovery.

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