The Role of Peatlands and Their Carbon Storage Function in the Context of Climate Change

Part of the GeoPlanet: Earth and Planetary Sciences book series (GEPS)


Peatlands are unique habitats that are covering around 3% of the land area and they are characterized by high sensitivity to climate. These very complex ecosystems impact both water and carbon cycle at local as well as global scale. Peatlands are also valuable ecosystems due to their mitigating features in terms of floods or soil erosion and they can store and filtrate water in the landscape as well. As a result of high moisture they can also gather a big amount of carbon and this ability makes peatlands climate coolers. On the other hand a stored carbon can be released into the atmosphere due to peat moisture decrease and it accelerate the global warming processes. Beside climate changes, peatlands are under pressure that is caused by human activities like land use changes or fires. Peatlands protection and restoration can both mitigate climate changes and water balance disturbances. A review of peatlands status and feature in the context of climate changes and human-induced disturbances are presented in this paper.


Peatlands protection and restoration Carbon storage Climate change 



This work was supported by Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union (No. PSPB-013/2010) and the National Science Centre, Poland (grant No. NN306060940 and 2015/17/B/ST10/01,656) and by the Polish-Norwegian Research Programme, project ID: 203258, contract No. Pol-Nor/203258/31/2013.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Meteorology DepartmentPoznan University of Life SciencesPoznańPoland
  2. 2.Department of Biogeography and Palaeoecology, Faculty of Geographical and Geological SciencesAdam Mickiewicz UniversityPoznańPoland
  3. 3.Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Monitoring, Faculty of Geographical and Geological SciencesAdam Mickiewicz UniversityPoznańPoland

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