New book provides a global perspective on peatland restoration

Whole tree removal 12 year later june 2010Peatlands provide globally important benefits (ecosystem services) for example by helping to regulate our climate and water, and providing places for wildlife conservation.  While they cover only 3% of the earth's surface, degrading peatlands are responsible for nearly a quarter of carbon emissions from the land use sector.

Bringing together world-class experts, including Forest Research’s Russell Anderson, this book highlights and debates the importance of peatlands from an ecological, social and economic perspective.  It includes an exploration of how peatland restoration can contribute to carbon emission reductions and enhance the benefits provide by peatland ecosystems.  Case studies from across the globe are used to illustrate the challenges of peatland management.

Russell Anderson is the lead author of the chapter discussing the restoration of afforested peatlands.  The chapter highlights the trade-off involved in restoring afforested peatlands - we gain habitats for species that need peat land to survive and safeguard the important long-term carbon store of the peat soil, but we lose the capacity to produce wood products and the carbon sink that the growing forests provide.  On balance, the chapter concludes that it appears restoration brings a net benefit but this will vary depending on the characteristics of each site.

The book will be of interest to environmental scientists, practitioners and policy makers, as well as graduate students from the natural and social sciences.  It is available from the publishers’ websites in hardback (priced £74.99) and as an e-book (priced £33.46).

Find out more about Forest Research’s work on peatlands.