Special Issue "Peatland Ecosystem"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021) | Viewed by 13263

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Elena D. Lapshina
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Dynamics and Global Climate Change, Yugra State University, ul. Chekhova 16, 628012 Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia
Interests: peatlands ecology; peatlands vegetation; bryology; paleoecology; ecosystem mapping; peatlands ecosystem functions
Dr. Tatiana Minayeva
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
1. Centre of Peatland Ecosystems Conservation and Restoration of the Institute of Forest Sciences RAS, Yugra State University, 628012 Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia
2. Care for Ecosystems UG, 53177 Bonn, Germany
Interests: peatlands ecology and biodiversity; peatlands ecosystem functions and services; peatlands biology; land use planning; climate policy; ecosystem restoration; ecosystem management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Eeva-Stiina Tuittila
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Forest Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 111, 80100 Joensuu, Finland
Interests: climate change; water level drawdown; peatlands; peatland forests; carbon balance; greenhouse gases; methane; carbon dioxide; Sphagnum; vegetation dynamics; restoration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Peatland ecosystem functions and services have become crucial in the context of climate change and further human-induced transformation of landscapes. Sustainable strategic land use planning in peatlands is a significant input to the ecosystem-based solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Integrated peatland ecosystem management should be based on comprehensive knowledge and understanding of ecosystem structure, processes, and functions. The Special Issue is inviting research focused on the theoretical background, methods, and outcomes of case studies for translating basic knowledge on peatland ecosystems into land use and ecosystem management solutions.

In this Special Issue, we invite papers focusing on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Peatlands ecosystem diversity
  • Indication and modelling of the key ecosystem functions
  • Water, carbon, and energy balance in peatlands ecosystems
  • Socio-economic aspects of peatlands use
  • Peatlands ecosystem functions and services
  • Evaluating and mapping of land use impact on peatlands ecosystems
  • Peatlands in the environment and climate-related policies
  • Modelling/mapping land use spatiotemporal change
Prof. Dr. Elena D. Lapshina
Dr. Tatiana Minayeva
Prof. Dr. Eeva-Stiina Tuittila
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • peatlands
  • climate
  • mires
  • water balance
  • carbon balance
  • energy balance
  • biodiversity
  • ecosystem functions
  • ecosystem services
  • land-use
  • ecosystem management

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Article
Can We Simultaneously Restore Peatlands and Improve Livelihoods? Exploring Community Home Yard Innovations in Utilizing Degraded Peatland
Land 2022, 11(2), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11020150 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 597
Abstract
Peatlands support the daily needs of people in many villages in Indonesia, including in Central Kalimantan Province. They provide the natural resources to enable fisheries, agriculture, plantations, and forestry. However, peatland utilization comes with various challenges, including fire, soil acidity, inundation, low fertility, [...] Read more.
Peatlands support the daily needs of people in many villages in Indonesia, including in Central Kalimantan Province. They provide the natural resources to enable fisheries, agriculture, plantations, and forestry. However, peatland utilization comes with various challenges, including fire, soil acidity, inundation, low fertility, and limited choice of suitable species. Many of the current uses of peatland can result in its degradation, oxidation, and increased risk of peat fire. Avoiding further environmental degradation will require the development of new technology that allows the community to both earn a livelihood and protect the peatland. In this study we assessed a range of technologies applied by 14 farmers at Tumbang Nusa village, Central Kalimantan province, in managing degraded peatlands in their home yard for agricultural business. The study shows that for endemic peatland species, good success can be achieved if they are planted directly. However, for species endemic to mineral land, there are four technologies applied by farmers in managing degraded peatland. The choice of technologies is influenced by their economic capacity/cash flow flexibility and their understanding of peatlands. Technologies intended to adapt to land inundation include the use of polybags, development of raised beds, and making peat mounds with mineral soil in the centre. Technologies to address the acidity and soil fertility include amelioration with dolomite lime and fertilizer. The use of polybags filled with peat soil is the easiest technology to adopt and can be conducted by all family members. However, a farmer’s choice of technology needs to always consider the potential environmental impacts in addition to increasing soil fertility so that peat conservation is maintained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peatland Ecosystem)
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Article
Topology, Vegetation and Stratigraphy of Far Eastern Aapa Mires (Khabarovsk Region, Russia)
Land 2022, 11(1), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11010096 - 07 Jan 2022
Viewed by 361
Abstract
Aapa mires (string-flark fens) are one of the main types of mires in northern Eurasia. It has an almost continuous distribution from Scandinavia to Kamchatka, disappearing in continental climate areas and becoming one of the dominant types in more oceanic zones. This article [...] Read more.
Aapa mires (string-flark fens) are one of the main types of mires in northern Eurasia. It has an almost continuous distribution from Scandinavia to Kamchatka, disappearing in continental climate areas and becoming one of the dominant types in more oceanic zones. This article first presents the topological features of string-flark aapa, their vegetation and peat stratigraphy related to different elements of microrelief at the southernmost borders of boreal mires of cryolithozone (51–52 N), in the Lower Amur region (Russia). String-flark fens are very similar to the aapa mires originally reported for the European North. The waterlogged minerotrophic central fen, with a ribbed surface pattern, is surrounded by oligotrophic bogs. The mosaic structure of the vegetation cover in the fens is determined by microtopography: mesooligotrophic dwarf shrub–herb–sphagnum strings, mesoeutrophic herb–sphagnum lawns, and sparse herb cover in water flarks. The flora, for the most part, corresponds with the European aapa, and has some characteristics of eastern features. We relate the localized evolution of string-flark complexes with water basin hydrology changes. The formation of string-flark complexes in pre-existing fens was preceded by the cessation of river flood waters over the surface of the mires. The further decline of erosion has led to the development of dwarf shrub–sphagnum communities containing microrelief. The immature strings of the aapa mires attest to the ongoing active change processes of the mires. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peatland Ecosystem)
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Article
Beaver-Driven Peatland Ecotone Dynamics: Impoundment Detection Using Lidar and Geomorphon Analysis
Land 2021, 10(12), 1333; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10121333 - 03 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1068
Abstract
This investigation focused on remotely detecting beaver impoundments and dams along the boreal-like peatland ecotones enmeshing Cranberry Glades Botanical Area, a National Natural Landmark in mountainous West Virginia, USA. Beaver (Castor spp.) are renowned for their role as ecosystem engineers. They can [...] Read more.
This investigation focused on remotely detecting beaver impoundments and dams along the boreal-like peatland ecotones enmeshing Cranberry Glades Botanical Area, a National Natural Landmark in mountainous West Virginia, USA. Beaver (Castor spp.) are renowned for their role as ecosystem engineers. They can alter local hydrology, change the ratios of meadow to woodland, act as buffers against drought and wildfire, and influence important climate parameters such as carbon retention and methanogenesis. The Cranberry Glades (~1000 m a.s.l.) occupy ~300 ha, including ~40 ha of regionally rare, open peatlands. Given the likely historical role of beaver activity in the formation and maintenance of peatland conditions at Cranberry Glades, monitoring of recent activity may be useful in predicting future changes. We analyzed remotely sensed data to identify and reconstruct shifting patterns of surface hydrology associated with beaver ponds and dams and developed a novel application of geomorphons to detect them, aided by exploitation of absences and errors in Lidar data. We also quantified decadal-timescale dynamics of beaver activity by tallying detectable active impoundments between 1990–2020, revealing active/fallow cycles and changing numbers of impoundments per unit area of suitable riparian habitat. This research presents both a practical approach to monitoring beaver activity through analysis of publicly available data and a spatiotemporal reconstruction of three decades of beaver activity at this rare and imperiled “Arctic Island” of the southern High Alleghenies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peatland Ecosystem)
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Article
Viewpoints on Cooperative Peatland Management: Expectations and Motives of Dutch Farmers
Land 2021, 10(12), 1326; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10121326 - 02 Dec 2021
Viewed by 872
Abstract
The European Union (EU) is globally the second highest emitter of greenhouse gases from drained peatlands. On the national level, 15% of agricultural peat soils in the Netherlands are responsible for 34% of agricultural emissions. Crucial to any successful policy is a better [...] Read more.
The European Union (EU) is globally the second highest emitter of greenhouse gases from drained peatlands. On the national level, 15% of agricultural peat soils in the Netherlands are responsible for 34% of agricultural emissions. Crucial to any successful policy is a better understanding of the behavioral change it will bring about among the target groups. Thus, we aim to explore farmers’ differing viewpoints to discuss how policy and planning can be improved to ensure landscape-scale climate mitigation on agriculturally used peatlands. Q methodology was used to interview fifteen farmers on Dutch peat soils, whereby 37 statements were ranked in a grid according to their level of agreement. Factor analysis revealed three main viewpoints: farmers with a higher peat proportion show an urgency in continuing to use their land (‘cooperative businesspeople’), while ‘independent opportunists’ are wary of cooperation compromising their sense of autonomy. Farmers who are ‘conditional land stewards’ are open to agriculture without drainage but require appropriate payments to do so. Future policy design must focus on providing support to farmers that go beyond compensation payments by providing information about funding sources as well as potential business models for peatland uses with raised water tables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peatland Ecosystem)
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Article
Addressing Peatland Rewetting in Russian Federation Climate Reporting
Land 2021, 10(11), 1200; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10111200 - 06 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 775
Abstract
Rewetting is the most effective way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from drained peatlands and must significantly contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate within the land sector. In 2010–2013, more than 73 thousand hectares of fire-prone peatlands were [...] Read more.
Rewetting is the most effective way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from drained peatlands and must significantly contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate within the land sector. In 2010–2013, more than 73 thousand hectares of fire-prone peatlands were rewetted in the Moscow Region (the hitherto largest rewetting program in the Northern Hemisphere). As the Russian Federation has no national accounting of rewetted areas yet, this paper presents an approach to detect them based on multispectral satellite data verified by ground truthing. We propose that effectively rewetted areas should minimally include areas with wet grasslands and those covered with water (cf. the IPCC categories “rewetted organic soils” and “flooded lands”). In 2020, these lands amounted in Moscow Region to more than 5.3 and 3.6 thousand hectares, respectively. Assuming that most rewetted areas were former peat extraction sites and using IPCC default GHG emission factors, an overall GHG emission reduction of over 36,000 tCO2-eq year−1 was calculated. We furthermore considered the uncertainty of calculations. With the example of a 1535 ha large rewetted peatland, we illustrate the estimation of GHG emission reductions for the period up to 2050. The approach presented can be used to estimate GHG emission reductions by peatland rewetting on the national, regional, and object level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peatland Ecosystem)
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Article
Electrochemical and Structural Modifications of Humic Acids in Aerobically and Anaerobically Incubated Peat
Land 2021, 10(11), 1189; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10111189 - 05 Nov 2021
Viewed by 542
Abstract
Exposure to oxygen and aerobic biological activity during drought periods alters the availability of terminal electron acceptors (TEA) in the peat catotelm layer. We investigated the changes in the electrochemical and chemical characteristics of humic acids (HA) induced by subjecting air-dried sphagnum peat [...] Read more.
Exposure to oxygen and aerobic biological activity during drought periods alters the availability of terminal electron acceptors (TEA) in the peat catotelm layer. We investigated the changes in the electrochemical and chemical characteristics of humic acids (HA) induced by subjecting air-dried sphagnum peat to biological oxidation or reduction during a 90-day incubation experiment. Structural modifications of HAs from anaerobically (HAred) and aerobically (HAox) incubated peat were investigated by ATR-FTIR, UV–vis, and EEM fluorescence spectroscopy. Number and strength of acid groups were characterized by titration, while changes in redox properties were characterized by cyclic voltammetry and quantified by coulometry with mediated electrochemical oxidation (MEO). Exposure to oxygen had small effects, but compared to anaerobic incubation, decreased by 20% the capacity of HA to reduce the radical ion of 2,2′-Azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS●−), passing from 2.77 ± 0.13 mmole- gHA−1 in HAred to 2.21 ± 0.10 mmole- gHA−1 in HAox. Pseudo-first-order electron transfer kinetic constants were 13.3 ± 1.2 s−1 for HAox and 16.7 ± 1.4 s−1 for HAred. Alterations in the hydrological status of the catotelm have minor effects on the actual in situ availability of organic TEA, but if coupled to intensified biological activity they may result in significant variations of greenhouse gases emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peatland Ecosystem)
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Article
The Multiscale Monitoring of Peatland Ecosystem Carbon Cycling in the Middle Taiga Zone of Western Siberia: The Mukhrino Bog Case Study
Land 2021, 10(8), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10080824 - 06 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1067
Abstract
The peatlands of the West Siberian Lowlands, comprising the largest pristine peatland area of the world, have not previously been covered by continuous measurement and monitoring programs. The response of peatlands to climate change occurs over several decades. This paper summarizes the results [...] Read more.
The peatlands of the West Siberian Lowlands, comprising the largest pristine peatland area of the world, have not previously been covered by continuous measurement and monitoring programs. The response of peatlands to climate change occurs over several decades. This paper summarizes the results of peatland carbon balance studies collected over ten years at the Mukhrino field station (Mukhrino FS, MFS) operating in the Middle Taiga Zone of Western Siberia. A multiscale approach was applied for the investigations of peatland carbon cycling. Carbon dioxide fluxes at the local scale studied using the chamber method showed net accumulation with rates from 110, to 57.8 gC m−2 at the Sphagnum hollow site. Net CO2 fluxes at the pine-dwarf shrubs-Sphagnum ridge varied from negative (−32.1 gC m−2 in 2019) to positive (13.4 gC m−2 in 2017). The cumulative May-August net ecosystem exchange (NEE) from eddy-covariance (EC) measurements at the ecosystem scale was −202 gC m−2 in 2015, due to the impact of photosynthesis of pine trees which was not registered by the chamber method. The net annual accumulation of carbon in the live part of mosses was estimated at 24–190 gC m−2 depending on the Sphagnum moss species. Long-term carbon accumulation rates obtained by radiocarbon analysis ranged from 28.5 to 57.2 gC m−2 yr−1, with local extremes of up to 176.2 gC m−2 yr−1. The obtained estimates of various carbon fluxes using EC and chamber methods, the accounting for Sphagnum growth and decomposition, and long-term peat accumulation provided information about the functioning of the peatland ecosystems at different spatial and temporal scales. Multiscale carbon flux monitoring reveals useful new information for forecasting the response of northern peatland carbon cycles to climatic changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peatland Ecosystem)
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Article
Transformation of an Oligotrophic Sphagnum Bog during the Process of Rewetting
Land 2021, 10(7), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070670 - 25 Jun 2021
Viewed by 622
Abstract
The vast peatlands of the European North of Russia were drained in the 20th century. Some of the drained areas were left without management and maintenance, which led to re-waterlogging. The current trend towards peatlands restoration requires an understanding of all the changes [...] Read more.
The vast peatlands of the European North of Russia were drained in the 20th century. Some of the drained areas were left without management and maintenance, which led to re-waterlogging. The current trend towards peatlands restoration requires an understanding of all the changes that have taken place in such ecosystems. The study aims to assess the changes in vegetation cover relative to changes in peat deposits in the rewetted oligotrophic bogs. The objects of research were located on the south-White Sea oligotrophic bogs. The studies were carried out using generally accepted geobotanical and geoecological methods in conjunction with the authors’ method for studying the group chemical composition of peat organic matter. The species diversity, structure and spatial distribution of the vegetation cover, the structure and composition of the peat, as well as the composition of the peat organic matter have been studied. It was shown that the transformation of an oligotrophic bog during the process of rewetting manifests itself in a significant change in the vegetation species diversity, somewhat reversible concerning ecologically tolerant species. Changes occurring in the peat deposit are irreversible. That limits the possibility of restoration of species of oligotrophic habitats to the initial state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peatland Ecosystem)
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Article
Derivation of Heat Conductivity from Temperature and Heat Flux Measurements in Soil
Land 2021, 10(6), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060552 - 22 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 702
Abstract
The general inverse problem formulation for a heat conductance equation is adopted for the types of measurement routinely carried out in the soil active layer. The problem solution delivers a constant thermal diffusivity coefficient a0 (in general, different from true value a [...] Read more.
The general inverse problem formulation for a heat conductance equation is adopted for the types of measurement routinely carried out in the soil active layer. The problem solution delivers a constant thermal diffusivity coefficient a0 (in general, different from true value a) and respective heat conductivity λ0 for the layer, located between two temperature sensors and equipped with a temperature or heat flux sensor in the middle. We estimated the error of solution corresponding to systematic shifts in sensor readings and mislocation of sensors in the soil column. This estimation was carried out by a series of numerical experiments using boundary conditions from observations on Mukhrino wetland (Western Siberia, Russia), performed in summer, 2019. Numerical results were corroborated by analytical estimates of inverse problem solution sensitivity derived from classical Fourier law. The main finding states that heat conductivity error due to systematic shifts in temperature measurements become negligible when using long temperature series, whereas the relative error of a is approximately twice the relative error of sensor depth. The error a0a induced by heat flux plate displacement from expected depth is 3–5 times less than the same displacement of thermometers, which makes the requirements for heat flux installation less rigid. However, the relative errors of heat flux observation typical for modern sensors (±15%) cause the uncertainty of a above 15% in absolute value. Comparison of the inverse problem solution to a estimated from in situ moss sampling on Mukhrino wetland proves the feasibility of the method and corroborates the conclusions of the error sensitivity study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peatland Ecosystem)
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Article
Assessment and Spatial Planning for Peatland Conservation and Restoration: Europe’s Trans-Border Neman River Basin as a Case Study
Land 2021, 10(2), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020174 - 08 Feb 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2192
Abstract
Peatlands are the “kidneys” of river basins. However, intensification of agriculture and forestry in Europe has resulted in the degradation of peatlands and their biodiversity (i.e., species, habitats and processes in ecosystems), thus impairing water retention, nutrient filtration, and carbon capture. Restoration of [...] Read more.
Peatlands are the “kidneys” of river basins. However, intensification of agriculture and forestry in Europe has resulted in the degradation of peatlands and their biodiversity (i.e., species, habitats and processes in ecosystems), thus impairing water retention, nutrient filtration, and carbon capture. Restoration of peatlands requires assessment of patterns and processes, and spatial planning. To support strategic planning of protection, management, and restoration of peatlands, we assessed the conservation status of three peatland types within the trans-border Neman River basin. First, we compiled a spatial peatland database for the two EU and two non-EU countries involved. Second, we performed quantitative and qualitative gap analyses of fens, transitional mires, and raised bogs at national and sub-basin levels. Third, we identified priority areas for local peatland restoration using a local hotspot analysis. Nationally, the gap analysis showed that the protection of peatlands meets the Convention of Biological Diversity’s quantitative target of 17%. However, qualitative targets like representation and peatland qualities were not met in some regional sub-basins. This stresses that restoration of peatlands, especially fens, is required. This study provides an assessment methodology to support sub-basin-level spatial conservation planning that considers both quantitative and qualitative peatland properties. Finally, we highlight the need for developing and validating evidence-based performance targets for peatland patterns and processes and call for peatland restoration guided by social-ecological research and inter-sectoral collaborative governance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peatland Ecosystem)
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Review

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Review
An Overview of Remote Sensing Data Applications in Peatland Research Based on Works from the Period 2010–2021
Land 2022, 11(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11010024 - 24 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1300
Abstract
In the 21st century, remote sensing (RS) has become increasingly employed in many environmental studies. This paper constitutes an overview of works utilising RS methods in studies on peatlands and investigates publications from the period 2010–2021. Based on fifty-nine case studies from different [...] Read more.
In the 21st century, remote sensing (RS) has become increasingly employed in many environmental studies. This paper constitutes an overview of works utilising RS methods in studies on peatlands and investigates publications from the period 2010–2021. Based on fifty-nine case studies from different climatic zones (from subarctic to subtropical), we can indicate an increase in the use of RS methods in peatland research during the last decade, which is likely a result of the greater availability of new remote sensing data sets (Sentinel 1 and 2; Landsat 8; SPOT 6 and 7) paired with the rapid development of open-source software (ESA SNAP; QGIS and SAGA GIS). In the studied works, satellite data analyses typically encompassed the following elements: land classification/identification of peatlands, changes in water conditions in peatlands, monitoring of peatland state, peatland vegetation mapping, Gross Primary Productivity (GPP), and the estimation of carbon resources in peatlands. The most frequently employed research methods, on the other hand, included: vegetation indices, soil moisture indices, water indices, supervised classification and machine learning. Remote sensing data combined with field research is deemed helpful for peatland monitoring and multi-proxy studies, and they may offer new perspectives on research at a regional level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peatland Ecosystem)
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Review
Restoration of Degraded Tropical Peatland in Indonesia: A Review
Land 2021, 10(11), 1170; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10111170 - 01 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1300
Abstract
Tropical peatlands are fragile ecosystems with an important role in conserving biodiversity, water quality and availability, preventing floods, soil intrusion, erosion and sedimentation, and providing a livelihood for people. However, due to illegal logging, fire and conversion into other land use, the peatlands [...] Read more.
Tropical peatlands are fragile ecosystems with an important role in conserving biodiversity, water quality and availability, preventing floods, soil intrusion, erosion and sedimentation, and providing a livelihood for people. However, due to illegal logging, fire and conversion into other land use, the peatlands in Indonesia are under serious threat. Efforts to restore Indonesia’s tropical peatlands have been accelerated by the establishment of the Peatland Restoration Agency in early 2016. The restoration action policy includes the rewetting, revegetation and revitalisation of local livelihood (known as the 3Rs). This paper summarises the regulatory, institutional and planning aspects of peatland restoration, in addition to the implementation of the 3Rs in Indonesia, including failures, success stories, and the criteria and indicators for the success of peatland restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peatland Ecosystem)
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