August 7, 2023   •   News

Submissions open: Restoration and Management of Peatlands for Climate Mitigation

Manuscript deadline: 30 January 2024

Submissions are now open (Frontiers in Climate) for the following Research Topic: “Restoration and Management of Peatlands for Climate Mitigation: Unravelling Biophysical and Socioecological Drivers of Change”.


About this Research Topic

Mires and peatlands are the largest natural terrestrial carbon store. Though covering only 3 percent of the world’s land surface, they store approximately 20 percent of the global soil organic carbon stock or two times that of global forest biomass. In addition to their role in the carbon cycle, peatlands provide a multitude of ecosystem services, including provisioning (eg. fuel, fibre, food) water purification and nutrient retention, erosion protection, soil formation, recreational and educational services, as well as harboring of unique biodiversity. Over the past century, about 15% of peatlands have been drained, mainly for agriculture and forestry. Peatland drainage leads to rapid soil degradation, soil carbon loss and nitrogen mobilization, land subsidence, as well as loss of the various other valuable ecosystems service that in-tact peatlands provide.

Globally, efforts to restore previously drained and degraded peatlands, primarily through rewetting, have increased in the last few decades. Peatland rewetting, as a nature-based solution to global climate change, reduces land subsidence, carbon loss, and risks of peat fires and has the potential to turn carbon sources back to sinks. Yet many of the biophysical processes are not well-resolved, such as the impact of drainage or rewetting on the magnitude of difference in production and consumption of greenhouse gases, as well as other biogeochemical processes and the involved microbial communities. Furthermore, rewetting of highly degraded peatlands may promote the mobilization of dissolved organic carbon, nitrogen, and phosphate which can cause eutrophication. Prompt rehabilitation of degraded peatlands, while imperative, requires the consideration of multiple stakeholders’ interests. Thus, in addition to biophysical processes, socioeconomic and political considerations also need to be a part of the decision-making process. Therefore, this research topic focuses on unravelling biophysical and socioecological drivers of change in drained and rewetted peatlands to enable better restoration and management of peatlands for climate benefits as well as co-benefits.

The scope of this research topic includes:

• Peatlands and their role in adapting and mitigating climate change
• Peatland conservation, restoration, and sustainable management (climate-focused)
• Peatlands and carbon sequestration
• Peatland protection in climate action plans
• Peatlands and Eutrophication
• Stakeholder engagement in peatland conservation

Submissions on tropical peatlands are highly encouraged. Submissions on all types of manuscripts will be considered which includes: Original Research, reviews, perspective, case report, community case study, data report, policy brief, general commentary, opinion, technology, and code.