Dear Colleagues,

We warmly invite you to the upcoming peatland restoration workshop organized by the University of Rostock, University of Greifswald, Aarhus University, ZALF Müncheberg and GFZ Potsdam. The meeting will be held at the shore of the beautiful Lake Kummerow in

5th to 6th September 2018.

During the last 20 years, more than 20.000 ha of peatlands were rewetted in NE Germany. This was proposed as a valid strategy to restore the unique biodiversity of peatlands and in recent years more and more to also recreate the carbon and nutrient sink function, in order to decrease the climate impact and mitigate the eutrophication of water bodies, respectively. However, as a result of prior soil subsidence, eutrophic shallow lakes are often formed after rewetting, characterized by increased mobilization of nutrients and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and by slow development to target vegetation.

Over the last decades, comprehensive lab and field research of quite some groups aimed at improving our understanding of the processes controlling the development of these “novel ecosystems” and their relative importance over time which is essential for securing the targeted restoration aims. The workshop aims to summarize our findings on i) carbon und nutrient biochemistry, ii) GHG exchange, and iii) ecology of these flooded peatlands. Besides defining the current state of knowledge, we want to identify open questions and future research avenues to foster our understanding of the microbiology, biogeochemistry, hydrology, and ecology of rewetted peatlands which is a prerequisite to successful restoration of these ecosystems.

We are aiming at a joint discussion/opinion paper as the major outcome of the workshop. Many results are available already and we hope, that discussing them together gives us a profound basis for assembling the state of the knowledge on processes prevailing in inundated peatlands. This in turn will help us to identify the major research gaps and to discuss which of those are most pressing and were we should focus our research on to foster our understanding of the biology and biogeochemistry of rewetted fen peatlands. We are planning to prepare a first draft in form of a commented outline and to distribute it to participants about one month ahead of the workshop and participants can opt-in to join the author team. At the workshop there will be time reserved to discuss the draft and any comments that have been received by then.

We invite people of all branches of peatland science, practice, and policy to participate, including: Biologists, Conservationists, Consultants, Decision-Makers, Ecologists, Educators, Environmental Consultants, Graduate Students, Hydrologists, Local Government Officials, Managers, Foresters, etc. We hope for broad participation to ensure tight linkage between science, practice and policy.

The meeting will include 2 days of oral presentations and a guided field excursion to the peatland site ‘polder Zarnekow’ which has been subject of various research activities during the last 14 years.
The workshop fee will be 180 Euros per person (accommodation included).

The number of participants is limited to 60 people on a first come-first served basis.
The deadline for registration will be June 1st, 2018.
Feel free to pass this information on to colleagues who might be interested.

With kind regards,

Dominik Zak, Gerald Jurasinski, Franziska Schmacka, John Couwenberg, Jürgen Augustin & Torsten Sachs

Please contact Franziska Schmacka
for further inquiries on organizational matters.