Compile data on peatland response to restoration and reclamation


Across Canada, and internationally, peatlands are subject to significant human disturbances, such as agricultural drainage, forestry drainage, peat extraction, and oil sands mining, which may convert them into a significant carbon source, thus jeopardized their climate mitigation function. To counteract the negative effects of human disturbances, the affected peatlands have been restored or reclaimed to retain or reinstate their ecosystem function of carbon sink or climate mitigation. In Canada, there now exists many experimental sites for peatland restoration and reclamation, where different approaches of measurement have been applied, such as biomass accumulation, static chamber, and eddy-covariance, to determine their carbon and greenhouse gas function. However, no efforts have been undertaken to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of peatland restoration and reclamation in terms of regaining its carbon sink function at the national level, due to a lack of a systematic compilation of the dataset. Further, it remains unclear what constitutes the best management practice for restoration in terms of maintaining and regaining the carbon sink function of the disturbed peatlands, and how these restored and reclaimed peatlands would function in the future under the context of climate change, such as warmer and drier conditions and elevated nutrient depositions. To address these issues, peatland ecosystem models need to be evaluated against the measured data from these experimental sites.

Activity Outline

  • Compile carbon stock and greenhouse gas data from the experimental sites for peatland restoration and reclamation across Canada
  • Examine the efficiency and effectiveness of different approaches among the experimental sites for peatland restoration and reclamation in terms of carbon and greenhouse gas ecosystem functions
  • Conduct a meta-analysis to determine a post-restoration biomass recovery curve and to evaluate what governs the carbon cycling and greenhouse gas emissions at these restored and reclaimed peatlands.