Articles | Volume 20, issue 12
Research article
22 Jun 2023
Research article |  | 22 Jun 2023

Water-table-driven greenhouse gas emission estimates guide peatland restoration at national scale

Julian Koch, Lars Elsgaard, Mogens H. Greve, Steen Gyldenkærne, Cecilie Hermansen, Gregor Levin, Shubiao Wu, and Simon Stisen

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Cited articles

Adhikari, K., et al.: High‐resolution 3‐D mapping of soil texture in Denmark, Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 77, 860–876, 2013. 
Andersen, R., Farrell, C., Graf, M., Muller, F., Calvar, E., Frankard, P., Caporn, S., and Anderson, P.: An overview of the progress and challenges of peatland restoration in Western Europe, Restor. Ecol., 25, 271–282,, 2017. 
Audet, J., Elsgaard, L., Kjaergaard, C., Larsen, S. E., and Hoffmann, C. C.: Greenhouse gas emissions from a Danish riparian wetland before and after restoration, Ecol. Eng., 57, 170–182,, 2013. 
Bauer-Marschallinger, B., Cao, S., Navacchi, C., Freeman, V., Reuß, F., Geudtner, D., et al.: The normalised Sentinel-1 Global Backscatter Model, mapping Earth’s land surface with C-band microwaves, Sci. Data, 8, 277,, 2021. 
Bechtold, M., Tiemeyer, B., Laggner, A., Leppelt, T., Frahm, E., and Belting, S.: Large-scale regionalization of water table depth in peatlands optimized for greenhouse gas emission upscaling, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 3319–3339,, 2014. 
Short summary
Utilizing peatlands for agriculture leads to large emissions of greenhouse gases worldwide. The emissions are triggered by lowering the water table, which is a necessary step in order to make peatlands arable. Many countries aim at reducing their emissions by restoring peatlands, which can be achieved by stopping agricultural activities and thereby raising the water table. We estimate a total emission of 2.6 Mt CO2-eq for organic-rich peatlands in Denmark and a potential reduction of 77 %.
Final-revised paper