Studying over-grazed drained mountain peatland
Challenges: Fragmented high mountain peat bogs (majority < 5ha) in the Pyrenees at the southern limit of their distribution are considered relict ecosystems, having accumulated organic matter since the last glaciation. For millennia, they have maintained carbon sinks, providing water resources and habitats for many species, but are vulnerable to climate change and overgrazing. Degradation due to drying is expected, affecting ability to store carbon, regulate water quantity/quality, and preserve biodiversity, causing ecosystem service loss and increased green house emissions.
Solutions: Long-term impacts and recovery potential of restored peatlands evaluated. Previously, some areas have been fenced to prevent livestock grazing (LimnoPirineus LIFE project). Changes in biodiversity, soil processes, organic matter, water chemistry, and seasonal WL dynamics have been monitored. Long-term monitoring will be implemented to improve understanding of this ecosystem’s resilience.
Outcomes: Improved sustainable management policies in these fragmented mountain peatlands.
Type of wetland:
Drained peatland – non-productive