Berlin s peatlands under climate change

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1 Berlin s peatlands under climate change Christian Heller, Diana Möller, Christian Klingenfuß & Jutta Zeitz (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Division of Soil Science and Site Science) Nature-based solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation in urban areas and their rural surroundings Workshop at Insel Vilm 10 th March 2015 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Scince 1

2 What is a peatland? Definition of peatland soil (German Classification) Watertable Peat-Forming 30 cm Thickness 30 masse-% Organic matter Anaerobic environment slowing the rate of decomposition (Foto: Zeitz) Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 2

3 Why are peatlands so important? Huge pools for soil organic carbon (SOC) covering only 3 % of the earth s surface, storing 1/3 of whole SOC BUT: Also including other ecosystem functions providing diverse and important ecosystem services (ESS) Climate protection (global CO 2 storage), climate regulation (local cooling), regulation of nutrients and water, habitat for endangered and unique species, space for recreation Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 3

4 Why peatland research matters? in densely populated landscapes often drained, intensively used for farming or peat excavation Foto: Succow 1978 Foto: Zauft Peat loss of 0,8 m within 10 years caused by intensive use Alnus glutinosa standing on stilts (Große Rosin am Kummerower See) Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 4

5 Why peatland research matters? Drainage of peatlands C-sinks C-sources (considerable emissions of CO 2, N 2 O ) Decrease of various other ESS (or turning into disservices ) The need for reliable data of different processes and controls considering the broad variety of peatland soils Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 5

6 Peatlands differ in peat-forming vegetation Sphagnum and Eriophorum Alnus and Carex Foto: Heller Foto: Heller Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 6

7 Peatlands differ in landuse Protected area - Minerotrophic Fens - Intensive cultivation Foto: Heller Foto: Heller Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 7

8 Peatland soils in urban areas and their surroundings intensively used (influenced by groundwater lowering) hydrological and pedological attributes strongly modified contrasting zones due to special fauna and flora regulation of landscape hydrology and local climate favourite spaces for recreation Hot-spots of ecosystem services in urban environments Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 8

9 What is missing in Berlin current knowledge about peatland conditions and their distribution general approach to promote environmental relief and a strategy of climate change mitigation for peatlands Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 9

10 Tegeler Fließ Berlin peatlands Gr. und Kl. Rohrpfuhl Teufsbruch Lietzengraben/ Bogenseekette Grunewaldmoore Erpetal Moore am Müggelsee Krumme Laake, Pelzlaake Neue Wiesen Teufelsseemoor Gosener Wiesen Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 10

11 Aim of the project Berlin s peatlands under climate change ( Berliner Moorböden im Klimawandel ) Supporting Service Habitat for flora and fauna Provisioning Services Regulating Services Climate protection, Filtering of nutrients/pollutants, Cooling, Water retention Cultural Services System of indicators for the assessment of ESS in (urban) peatlands Identification of management strategies Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 11

12 System of indicators Our input parameters Three level rating scheme Water table Vegetation Assessment of ESS Soil Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 12

13 Development of a system of indicators Climate protection Habitat Service Filtering of nutrients/pollutants Water retention Cooling ESS assessment on a detailed scale (1:5.000) Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 13

14 ESS: Climate Protection Climate protection through carbon accumulation a historical service Fundamental question: How much C was removed from the atmosphere which is stored in Berlin s peatlands since the last years? How can we measure and assess this C-pool? Input Parameter: Thickness of organic layers Organic C concentrations Bulk densities Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 14

15 C-Storage Modular System HSK und ZG C org [t*ha -1 *dm -1 ] nhm:ha ,50 nhv:ha ,90 nha:hnr ,21 nha:ha ,69 More Information (in German) Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 15

16 C-storage: Looking into peatland soils Example: (climate protection through carbon storage - a historical service) Deep peat Peat depth > 4 m C-pool > t * ha -1 Flat peat Peat depth = 30 cm C-pool < 100 t * ha -1 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 16

17 Climate protection C-storage historical service of climate protection Kleine Pelzlaake Teufelsfenn Legend high (< 900 t*ha -1 ) very high extremely high (> t*ha -1 ) C-storage t*ha -1 C-storage t*ha -1 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 17

18 ESS: Habitat service Fundamental question: How much area is provided as habitat for typical wetland species (biodiversity)? How do we measure and assess this? Input parameter: Water table C/N-ratio (trophic level) Current structure of biotop Deviation from ideal type Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 18

19 Habitat Service Kleine Pelzlaake Habitat service Teufelsfenn Legend n.s. good medium bad Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 19

20 Management strategies in Berlin General strategies to improve water supply & to re-establish characteristic wetland species Removal or locking of ditches Removal of trees which are not site-specific Removal of degraded topsoil horizons Artificial water supply by constructions Annual cutting: support of threatened plant species (brown mosses; orchis ) Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 20

21 Management strategies Case study Monitoring of Kleine Pelzlaake during restoration Assessment of Habitat Service before Restoration after Legend good medium bad Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 21

22 Management strategies Case study Monitoring of Kleine Pelzlaake during restoration Project costs CO 2 -compensation Cost of reduction 45 t CO 2 -eq. / year 32 / t CO 2 -eq. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 22

23 Former treeless peatland `Krumme Laake` Site management: Removal of trees Aim: Support for remaining Sphagnum-mosses and improvement of the water supply Foto: Thrum Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 23

24 Brown moss segde reed (Tegeler Fließtal/Berlin) Site management: Annual cutting (September) Aims: Preservation from trees and shrubs; biomass and nutrient removal Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science Foto: Klingenfuß 24

25 Brown moss segde reed in the Tegeler Brown moss segde reed (Bäkewiese/Berlin) Fließtal/Berlin New Peat formation upon a buried peatland supported by annual cutting (September) Site management: Annual mowing in September Aims: Preservation from trees and shrubs; biomass and nutrient removal Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science Foto: Klingenfuß 25

26 Teufelsfenn (Grunewald/Berlin) Teufelsfenn Groundwater supply by a closed down waterwork Teufelssee Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 26

27 Outcomes System of indicators assessing ESS of urban peatlands Results important for selection of management strategies ESS assessment system offers possibility for longterm monitoring programs Published in Umweltatlas Berlin Project website (German/English) Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 27

28 Thank you for your attention! Contact: Christian Heller (Tel.: ) Diana Möller (Tel.: ) Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Division of Soil Science and Site Science 28

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