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Towards unravelling the ‘Black Box’ of peatland carbon: linking peatland habitat condition and management to water chemistry and quality

SEI researchers and partners presented insights into the physical and chemical properties of peat relevant to management decisions on ‘at source’ drinking water treatment at the EGU General Assembly 2021.

Andreas Heinemeyer / Published on 30 April 2021

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Mycroft, A., Heinemeyer, A., Penkman, K., Banks, J. and Thom, T. Towards unravelling the 'Black Box' of peatland carbon: Linking peatland habitat condition and management to water chemistry and quality, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15049,

In the UK, peatlands are a significant provider of many ecosystem services including drinking water provision and carbon sequestration. However, a history of intense management and other environmental factors such as air pollution has led to large scale peatland degradation. Of particular concern is that most of the UK’s drinking water comes from uplands containing blanket bog, but water quality has deteriorated.

Separating climatic from vegetation impacts and attributing negative impacts to management remains a challenge. This paper contributes to understanding the linkages between peat chemistry and plant-soil processes and water quality, as a means to enable management decisions based on ‘treatment at source’ rather than the conventional ‘end of pipe’ drinking water treatment.

This paper was presented at the EGU General Assembly 2021 held from 19–30 April 2021.

Read the abstract and watch the presentation.

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SEI author

Andreas Heinemeyer

Senior Research Fellow

SEI York

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