AFFORESTATION AS A TYPE OF PEATLAND RECULTIVATION AND ASSESSMENT OF ITS AFFECTING FACTORS IN THE REDUCTION OF GHG EMISSIONS
Keywords:afforestation, recultivation, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, peat soils
Peatlands play a significant role in the regulation of greenhouse gasses (GHG) by sequestrating carbon from the atmosphere. Unsustainable peat extraction can lead to an increase in GHG emissions. It is important to recultivate the peatland after the extraction of peat so that it does not become an emitter but remains a carbon sink and sequestrator. One of the most effective and suitable types of recultivation in Latvia that also has a positive effect on GHG circulation is afforestation.
The aim of the study is to describe afforestation as a type of recultivation and to evaluate its influencing factors in the reduction of GHG emissions in peatlands.
The study analyzed the data obtained in the LIFE REstore project which contains measurements of the three main GHGs (CO2, CH4 and N2O) and the factors affecting them. The results show that in afforested areas the closest correlation with the amount of emitted CO2 out of all the analyzed factors is formed by soil temperature. As it increases, so do the CO2 emissions. As the depth of soil increases, the correlation between temperature and CO2 emissions becomes closer. In the study areas, regularities that would directly explain the relatively low amount of GHG emissions in the afforested areas were not found among the analyzed quantitative factors.