WISE Peatland Choices  A scoping tool for the prioritisation ofrestoration needs of peatlands in Scotland Rebekka Artz, Da...
Why?• Ca. 1.7 million ha of peatland in Scotland, which is 22 % ofthe land area• Scottish peatlands contain 1620 Mt of C (...
Peatland locations                      Mostly blanket bog (1.1 mi ha),                       some semi-confined peat (va...
Decision supporttool development• good maps available butnot been used for decisionsupport tools before• spatial grid appl...
Site selection criteria for restoration                                                                                   ...
Current peatland condition                   • A major issue is that the condition of                     much of Scotland...
Carbon content                 • Some of the most important areas:                            Flow Country                ...
Forestry on peatlands                  • Drainage and conversion to forestry was                    one of the most import...
Bioclimatic envelope modelling (Jo Clark et al.)Low scenario          High scenario                                       ...
Difficult areas for restoration Peat harvesting in Scotland has  taken place for centuries and  affects large parts of th...
Bogs affected by domestic peat cutting
Scoping potential restoration areas – erosion issues
Peat erosionBare peat EF: up to 5.5 t CO2eq ha-1 yr-1
Island of Yell, Shetland – improvementssince sheep stock reductions
Finally…..New challenges:      Onshore wind farms are       the new trees!      60% of the planned       target for rene...
Where we’re at: Rule sets developed for all mapped information. I.e.“IF carbon content is equal to or higher than X T ha-...
So far…and next stages The multi-layered GIS maps are already being used to  inform Scottish Government on areas that may...
Outputs: Policy Briefings to the SG                                              Research Summary                       Po...
WISE Peatland Choices - A scoping tool for the prioritisation of restoration needs of peatlands in Scotland
WISE Peatland Choices - A scoping tool for the prioritisation of restoration needs of peatlands in Scotland
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WISE Peatland Choices - A scoping tool for the prioritisation of restoration needs of peatlands in Scotland

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  • The maps show examples of areas of peatland that hold the highest C content in the soil, (x) show distinct sings of erosion that would need to be adressed, (x) have been used historically for peat extraction and thus have been altered or (x) where there is pressure to use part of whole of the site as a wind farm. (x) all of these maps can be overlaid to focus on the particular opportunities for restoration or pressures that may complicate restoration work that such areas offer. (x) We identified some potential priority areas for restoration during a currently concluding SNH funded scoping study. We also identified data gaps that would need to be addressed to enable such policy decisions to be made. One of these gaps is site hydrological status which can be potentially mapped using image recognition (see next slide). We also need to road-test a decision support calculator we developed during the SNH project. We sought stakeholder inputs and their opinions on the importance of various site selection crieteria. Again, one of the areas deemed of highest importance were the physical level of degradation.
  • WISE Peatland Choices - A scoping tool for the prioritisation of restoration needs of peatlands in Scotland

    1. 1. WISE Peatland Choices A scoping tool for the prioritisation ofrestoration needs of peatlands in Scotland Rebekka Artz, David Donnelly, Steve Chapman, Sarah Dunn, Matt Aitkenhead, Alessandro Gimona, Jack Lennon, Pete Smith (UoA), Jo Smith (UoA), Bedru Balana, Roxane Andersen (UHI), Robin Matthews and others
    2. 2. Why?• Ca. 1.7 million ha of peatland in Scotland, which is 22 % ofthe land area• Scottish peatlands contain 1620 Mt of C (56% of total soil C)• Much of this resource is eroding, drained, harvested orconverted to other land uses (90% of raised bog, >50% ofblanket bog)• Target of 600,000 ha to be restored (UK Biodiversity Actionplan); Climate Change (Scotland) Act is aiming for 42% cut inemissions relative to 1990• If all peatlands were in good condition, the amountsequestered would equate to between 1.5 and 5.4 Mt CO2eqyr-1 (EF of -2.8 to -0.7 t CO2eq ha-1 yr-1)• Peatland restoration in Scotland could offset 11-40% of thetransport sector CO2 emissions (2009 Figures)
    3. 3. Peatland locations  Mostly blanket bog (1.1 mi ha), some semi-confined peat (valley peats on mountains, 0.5 mi ha), upland (0.04) and lowland (0.03) raised bog  Blanket bog predominantly in the northern/western part, raised bog remnants in the east
    4. 4. Decision supporttool development• good maps available butnot been used for decisionsupport tools before• spatial grid applicationfollowed by scoring• currently developing testingfor spatial scales of 100, 500m2 and 1 km2 (5 km2 worstcase scenario)
    5. 5. Site selection criteria for restoration Weight of Sub-criterion Total score Site selection indicator Mark out of 10 * Total site score criterion weighting within criterion - Current type and condition of vegetation and other species assemblages 6.91 0.00- Potential for functional blanket bog to regenerate under present and future climate 10.59 0.00- Potential to be biologically connected to surrounding landscapes and biodiversity 0.0 5.55 0.00- Conflicts with existing biodiversity from changes to other desired land uses 4.39 0.00- Level or rate of current physical degradation 9.40 0.00- Ease of access or potential access issues 2.58 0.00- Geophysical attributes: area/ altitude and variation within site 0.0 5.02 0.00- Peat type and depth 5.19 0.00- Is there a site designation in place 4.35 0.00- If non-designated, is monitoring in existence or are there existing historical data 3.10 0.00- If non-designated, are there existing management option limitations or 0.0 0 4.58 0.00 requirements for consents- Sustainability of current and historic land use 2.23 0.00- Existing management and/or guarantees for the future 5.17 0.00- Timescale and deliverability of restoration efforts 0.0 4.02 0.00- Is the site managed as a hydrological unit 2.61 0.00- Conflicts in sources of income from current versus potential management 4.01 0.00- Availability/ /continuity of funding for restoration from SRDP and other sources 7.32 0.00- Would restoration offset other costs (e.g. water treatment costs) or create socio- 0.0 6.94 0.00economic benefits (e.g. rural jobs)- Potential for partnerships (e.g. private companies, conservation groups and local 6.03 0.00population working together) * (1-extemely poor; 10- excellent)
    6. 6. Current peatland condition • A major issue is that the condition of much of Scotlands’ peatlands is unknown • The best database so far is the Common Standards Monitoring dataset collated for sites under designation (only 6.6 % of blanket bog!) • More than half of these sites are not in ‘favourable’ condition • To enable an objective decision support tool to be developed, gaps need to be filled (ongoing modelling using MODIS and other remote sensing data)
    7. 7. Carbon content • Some of the most important areas: Flow Country Lewis Peatlands Shetland Isles Monadhliath Flanders Moss (raised bog complex) Dumfries and Galloway peatlands
    8. 8. Forestry on peatlands • Drainage and conversion to forestry was one of the most important land use changes on peatlands in Scotland • The majority were planted in the 1970- 80s when tax incentives were provided for drainage and planting • It has now been recognised that deep peat should not be planted (Land Use Strategy for Scotland). Major drives to restore afforested areas to bog started with initiatives e.g EU-LIFE in the late 1990s • There is still much of the peat resource under forestry, and there are ongoing discussions as to the future of such areas
    9. 9. Bioclimatic envelope modelling (Jo Clark et al.)Low scenario High scenario Caveats: Data that were used to run the bioclimatic envelope models have been based on current distribution of blanket bog (rather than known active blanket bogs) and the use of the now superseded UKCIP02 scenarios, which have been updated in UKCIP09.
    10. 10. Difficult areas for restoration Peat harvesting in Scotland has taken place for centuries and affects large parts of the total area. Most areas have been harvested by traditional hand cutting and the resulting landscape is difficult to restore
    11. 11. Bogs affected by domestic peat cutting
    12. 12. Scoping potential restoration areas – erosion issues
    13. 13. Peat erosionBare peat EF: up to 5.5 t CO2eq ha-1 yr-1
    14. 14. Island of Yell, Shetland – improvementssince sheep stock reductions
    15. 15. Finally…..New challenges:  Onshore wind farms are the new trees!  60% of the planned target for renewable energy by onshore generation is currently being planned on peatland areas (22 % of the land area…)“Onshore wind farms should not impact on C stocks and sequestration potentialon peatlands” (Land Use Strategy for Scotland)
    16. 16. Where we’re at: Rule sets developed for all mapped information. I.e.“IF carbon content is equal to or higher than X T ha-1 =10/10” etc. Some map conversion to raster at 100 m2 completed, others ongoing (estimated March 2013) Test run of full tool estimated March 2013 Stakeholder workshop planned for late Spring 2013
    17. 17. So far…and next stages The multi-layered GIS maps are already being used to inform Scottish Government on areas that may be suitable for restoration and the carbon abatement potential this may achieve We already provide information to land managers on request, for specific areas Once the full calculator is running, we will take the findings to Scottish stakeholders to refine any obvious conflicts. There may be further potential to define the site selection criteria or weightings.
    18. 18. Outputs: Policy Briefings to the SG Research Summary Potential Abatement from Peatland Restoration Carbon Savings from Peat RestorationArtz, R.R.E., Chapman, S.J., Donnelly, D. and Matthews, R.B. Steve Chapman, Rebekka Artz and David Donnelly, The James Hutton Institute Enquiry received 8 May 2012 for response by early JuneKey points Enquirer: Francis Brewis• Net potential abatement benefits from peatland restoration, given our wide span of values for near-natural and damaged sites, could range from 0.6 to 8.3 t CO2e ha-1 yr-1.• Values at the lower end represent restoration C savings of the least damaged sites, which may beachievable within a <10 year timeframe after restoration efforts. In addition, early intervention on such less 1. Key Pointsdamaged bogs also prevents further progression to a more damaged, and more highly emitting, state. Valuesnear the upper end apply to the restoration benefits of severely damaged sites, but these will take longer tostabilize (20 to 50 years) and temporarily high methane emissions may limit early carbon savings. · For 2012, we estimate that abatement from existing projects, amounts to 0.018 Mt CO2e yr-1, with a range of 0.010 – 0.028 Mt CO2e yr-1.• A precise figure for the area in Scotland that has the potential for some degree of change in · As existing projects mature, and even with no new projects, projected annual abatement continues tomanagement or active restoration is not available but is likely to be in excess of 1,000 kha of which around 350 increase. By 2027 it will amount to 0.026 Mt CO2e yr-1, with a range of 0.014 – 0.041 Mt CO2e yr-1.kha may be in the ‘severely damaged’ category of previously cutover, eroded, severely drained or afforested · The current emissions from all Scottish peatlands are likely to be in the range of -0.38 (net uptake) to 3.56 Mtpeatlands that would require active efforts to restore. CO2e yr-1. In principle, carbon abatement in the range of 1.5 – 5.4 Mt CO2e yr-1 could be possible by 2027, if all potential areas identified are indeed restorable to a net sequestering peatland within a reasonable time frame and if restoration were to commence immediately in all areas. A realistic estimate will fall somewhere belowIntroduction this.As will be appreciated, the provision of a figure for the potential abatement from peatland restoration is not a · Data gaps and uncertainties remain significant.simple task. There are a number of factors to consider: i. The emission factor for a particular area will depend upon the initial and restored states and this will 2. Introduction vary depending upon the particular conditions and management regimes at each site. ii. As many of the common land use regimes or disturbances do not manifest in a uniform fashion (e.g. grip In our previous enquiry response (Artz et al., 2012c) we outlined the range of net potential abatement benefits spacings can vary), the areal extents of peatlands in different states will also vary. from peatland restoration on a per hectare basis and gave an estimate of the likely area of peatland that could iii. The timelines of abatement are also likely to vary and maximum abatement potential may not be be available for some degree of improvement. We indicated that full abatement benefits would not be realised achieved for some time following restoration. immediately but would involve a timeframe measured in several years to decades. Additionally, we stressed the paucity of relevant data on which each of these parameters (abatement per hectare, area and timeframe) were iv. The total abatement is the integration over time of the products of emission factor and area for the various states. based and that there was considerable uncertainty associated with the cited values. There is no further evidence available at present whereby these ranges might be narrowed. The literature and data on which our conclusions v. It should be borne in mind that potential abatement may be largely made up of emission savings, i.e. a were based are described in Artz et al. (2012c) and will not be repeated here. marked reduction in current carbon losses rather than a net sequestration of carbon (see Fig 7 in Bain et al. 2011). The present enquiry may be divided into two tasks: the carbon savings from all peatland restoration carried out vi. An additional complication is that peatlands may emit methane which has a much greater global to date from the baseline year of 1990 and the potential for savings extending into the future to 2027. To our warming potential in comparison to carbon dioxide. Values of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents) are knowledge, the first task has never before been undertaken. There have been several estimates of the future often calculated using a 100-year time horizon. This is a purely arbitrary period and some have argued potential. Bain (2010) estimated that 600 kha could be restored in Scotland by 2015 to give an annual saving of that a 500-year time horizon is more relevant to the lifetime of a peatland and this would play down the 2.7 Mt CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents). Subsequently, Bain et al. (2011) estimated a figure for the UK of >1 impact of methane. Nitrous oxide emissions are generally considered to be negligible unless nitrogen fertiliser is involved or in the Central Belt where atmospheric N deposition is still a factor (Drewer et al., 2010). ClimateXChange is Scotland’s Centre of Expertise on Climate Change, supporting the Scottish Government’s policy development on climate change mitigation, adaptation and the transition to a low carbon economy. The centre delivers objective, independent, integrated and authoritative evidence in response to clearly specified policy questions. www.climatexchange.org.uk

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