IAHR, founded in 1935, is a worldwide independent member-based organisation of engineers and water specialists working in fields related to the hydro-environmental sciences and their practical application. Activities range from river and maritime hydraulics to water resources development and eco-hydraulics, through to ice engineering, hydroinformatics, and hydraulic machinery.
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You are here : eLibrary : IAHR World Congress Proceedings : 36th Congress - The Hague (2015) ALL CONTENT : Special sessions : Peat oxidation in a changing world
Peat oxidation in a changing world
Peat soils consist of partially decomposed organic material that accumulates due to an imbalance between primary production and decomposition rates, usually because of restrictions on oxygen availability, temperature and nutrients. In the western and northern peat district in the Netherlands substantial areas of peat lands are reclaimed for agricultural use. However, as soon as agricultural peat lands are drained and fertilized, decomposition of organic matter is stimulated, resulting in largely irreversible subsidence rates of 1 to 2 cm per year. Here we present two studies contributing to improved management strategies by elucidating the underlying processes governing subsidence through peat mineralization. .i) The present study assessed the risk of microbial-driven subsidence in drained peat soils of contrasting origin (fen and bog peat), and influenced by contrasting land uses (dairy meadow and nature reserve). In these peat types, we studied decomposition rates during drought events and salinization, and assessed the total and active microbial biomass and potential enzyme activities. ii) Furthermore some preliminary results will be shown from a new research project on peat subsidence in built-up areas in the towns of Kamerik, Kanis and Kockengen in the western peat district. Here we studied basic respiration patterns of oxygenated peat from different peat layers within deep peat profiles. Peat layers with diverse composition in terms of dominant plant substrates and degree of humification or compaction were tested. Both studies strongly contribute to our mechanistic knowledge on the vulnerability of different peat types for microbial peat oxidation. Knowledge that is urgently needed to make best guess predictions for future subsidence risks and design specific strategies to combat strong subsidence in vulnerable areas as the expectations are that climate change will further increase the rates of microbial peat oxidation.
File Size : 162,067 bytes
File Type : Adobe Acrobat Document
Chapter : IAHR World Congress Proceedings
Category : 36th Congress - The Hague (2015) ALL CONTENT
Article : Special sessions
Date Published : 18/08/2015
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