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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-83
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-83
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  06 Apr 2020

06 Apr 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal BG and is expected to appear here in due course.

Canal blocking optimization in restoration of drained peatlands

Iñaki Urzainki1,2, Ari Laurén2, Marjo Palviainen3, Kersti Haahti1, Arif Budiman4, Imam Basuki4,5, Michael Netzer4, and Hannu Hökkä1 Iñaki Urzainki et al.
  • 1Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Latokartanonkaari 9, FI-00790, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2School of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science and Forestry, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu Campus, PO Box 111, (Yliopistokatu 7), FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland
  • 3University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, PO-Box 27 00014, Helsinki, Finland
  • 4Winrock International, 2121 Crystal Drive, Suite 500, Arlington, VA 22202, USA
  • 5Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Situ Gede, Sindang Barang, Bogor 16115, Indonesia

Abstract. Drained peatlands are one of the main sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions globally. Emission reduction and, more generally, ecosystem restoration can be achieved by raising the water table using canal or drain blocks. When restoring large areas, the number of blocks becomes limited by the available resources, which raises the following question: in which exact positions should a given number of blocks be placed in order to maximize the water table raise throughout the area? There is neither a simple nor an analytic answer. The water table response is a complex phenomenon that depends on several factors, such as the topology of the canal network, site topography, peat hydraulic properties, vegetation characteristics and meteorological conditions. We developed a new method to position the canal blocks based on the combination of a hydrological model and heuristic optimization algorithms. We applied this approach to a large drained peatland area (931 km2) in Sumatra, Indonesia. Our solution consistently improved the performance of traditional block locating methods, indicating that drained peatland restoration can be made more effective at the same cost by selecting the positions of the blocks using the presented scheme.

Iñaki Urzainki et al.

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Iñaki Urzainki et al.

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Canal blocking optimization in restoration of drained peatlands I. Urzainki, A. Laurén, M. Palviainen, K. Haahti, A. Budiman, I. Basuki, M. Netzer, and H. Hökkä https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3741043

Iñaki Urzainki et al.

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Latest update: 18 Sep 2020
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Short summary
Drained peatlands (peat areas where ditches have been excavated to enhance plant production) are one of the main sources of carbon dioxide emissions globally. Blocking those ditches by building dams is a common strategy to restore the self-sustaining peat ecosystem and to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions. Where should those dams be located in order to maximize the benefits? Our work tackles that question making use of available data, hydrological modeling and numerical optimization methods.
Drained peatlands (peat areas where ditches have been excavated to enhance plant production) are...
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