Research ArticleECOLOGY

Large historical carbon emissions from cultivated northern peatlands

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Science Advances  04 Jun 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 23, eabf1332
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abf1332
  • Fig. 1 Simulated area and cumulative net biome production of northern peatland in different scenarios.

    (A) Undisturbed peatland area. (B) Cultivated peatland area. (C) Cumulative net biome production (NBP) of undisturbed and cultivated peatland.

  • Fig. 2 Simulated total (green transparent boxes) and cultivated (orange transparent boxes) peatland area under three scenarios (MIN, CTL, and MAX), compared with previously published estimates for 12 countries.

    *Drained area for agriculture, not only for crop cultivation. †Following the 2006 IPCC Guidelines (38), land that has not undergone any land-use conversion for a period of at least 20 years is reported in a “remaining” category to UNFCCC National Greenhouse Gas Inventory (Submissions 2019) (39), while land affected by land-use conversion is reported in a “conversion” category for 20 years and then will be transferred to the remaining category. Estimates of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are the sum of the category reported as “Cropland remaining Cropland on organic soils” and the category reported as “Wetland converted to Cropland on organic soils” (common reporting format table 4.B).

  • Fig. 3 Observed and simulated EFs.

    (A) Simulated present-day (averaged over 1990–2010) EFs when the conversion of peatlands to croplands occurred in 1900, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, and 1990, compared to observations. In each violin, the black mini-box shows the first and the third percentile of simulated EFs, the white dot shows the median, and whiskers show first quartile − 1.5 × IQR and third quartile + 1.5 × IQR. Note that EFs from (40) are the average and the ranges, whereas EFs from (9, 41, 42) are the average and the 95% confidence interval of the measurement. For (39, 43), we show the average and ranges of EFs used by the same 12 countries as in Fig. 2. EFs for the category reported as Wetland converted to Cropland on organic soils to UNFCCC considered carbon stock change in living biomass and are different from EFs used for the category reported as Cropland remaining Cropland on organic soils; thus, the EFs for (39) in this figure represent area-weighted averages of these two categories. (B) Simulated EFs after peatlands have been converted for 7 years, 8 to 14 years, 15 to 21 years, 22 to 28 years, and 29 to 35 years (simulated drainage and conversion of peatlands to croplands occurred in 1960) compared to measured SOC loss rates of a peatland used for row crop rotation from a long-term continuous experiment (44).

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    Large historical carbon emissions from cultivated northern peatlands

    Chunjing Qiu, Philippe Ciais, Dan Zhu, Bertrand Guenet, Shushi Peng, Ana Maria Roxana Petrescu, Ronny Lauerwald, David Makowski, Angela V. Gallego-Sala, Dan J. Charman, Simon C. Brewer

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