Environmental Management

, Volume 51, Issue 6, pp 1194–1209 | Cite as

Ecosystem Service Restoration after 10 Years of Rewetting Peatlands in NE Germany

  • Stefan ZerbeEmail author
  • Peggy Steffenhagen
  • Karsten Parakenings
  • Tiemo Timmermann
  • Annett Frick
  • Jörg Gelbrecht
  • Dominik Zak


The restoration of ecosystem services, i.e., production, regulation, and information, is a global challenge, which the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in NE Germany addressed in 2000 by rewetting over 20,000 ha of degraded peatlands within the Mire Restoration Program. We evaluated ecosystem services in 23 rewetted sites by assessing the following mire parameters within a ten year period: (a) dominant vegetation at the ecosystem level, (b) peat formation potential at the landscape level, and (c) aboveground biomass and nutrient levels. Seven to 10 years after rewetting, the wetlands formed a mosaic of vegetation types with the highest potential for peat formation and several dominant, peat-forming species accumulated high levels of aboveground biomass and nutrients (C, N, P). Common reed (Phragmites australis) accumulated the most biomass (up to 24 t dry matter/ha), and N+P during the growing season. A future management option is to annually harvest aquatic and wetland plants to reduce nutrient levels in restored mire ecosystems.


Biomass Carbon standing stock Eutrophication Nutrient standing stock Peat formation Phragmites australis 



This assessment of restoration success was based on single studies kindly supported by the Landesamt für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Geologie in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (LUNG MV).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Zerbe
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peggy Steffenhagen
    • 2
  • Karsten Parakenings
    • 3
  • Tiemo Timmermann
    • 3
  • Annett Frick
    • 2
  • Jörg Gelbrecht
    • 4
  • Dominik Zak
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Science and TechnologyFree University of Bozen-BolzanoBozenItaly
  2. 2.Luftbild Umwelt Planung GmbH (LUP)PotsdamGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Botany and Landscape EcologyUniversity GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany
  4. 4.Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries BerlinBerlinGermany

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