Curt Richardson (Duke University) - Peatland Carbon Alchemy and Climate Change Services
Abstract: Peatlands at COP26, received renewed attention for their potential in regulating global carbon (C) cycles, with particular emphasis on peatland C drainage losses and increased sequestration via restoration (rewetting). While considerable attention has been paid to restoring peatlands in the Northern boreal regions far less is known about the effects of climate change, drainage and rewetting on C storage in subtropical and tropical peatlands. Biogeochemical and biological mechanisms that down-regulate decomposition rates in peatlands will be examined in conjunction with hydrologic conditions needed to optimize C sequestration and reduce GHG emissions. How the rapidly expanding C market can be used to fund restorations by turning black C into gold is discussed.