The NOBV conducts research at various locations,
where a range of measures and situations are examined.
Greenhouse gas fluxes are measured at all locations.
Soil chemistry and soil physics are also researched,
and soil subsidence is measured as well.
MECHANISTIC UNDERSTANDING AND PARAMETERS
In a programme that focuses on greenhouse gases, greenhouse gases are of course actively measured. However, measuring these greenhouse gas emissions in different places is not the goal; it is the means. We want to map emissions for all Dutch peatland areas and we want to predict the effect that measures will have. Greenhouse gas emissions from Dutch peat soils are determined by a wide range of factors. Measuring different parameters for all these factors and comparing them to the emissions measured will enable us to obtain a much better understanding of the processes in the soil. That is known as mechanistic understanding, and that is what we want to achieve. It will allow us to take a much more modelled approach to emissions and the effectiveness of measures for the whole of the Netherlands, and to test this against actual measurements. The most important parameters measured are given below. First are the greenhouse gases and the subsidence itself as a result of the processes in the soil, and following that, the factors influencing the processes in the soil.
Greenhouse gas fluxes are measured in the same way at all NOBV sites. This is also true of the environmental variables that influence greenhouse gas emissions, and variables that are needed to scale up the fluxes. In order to generate longer measuring series, measuring is done with automatic chambers. To gain insight into greenhouse gas emissions on a slightly larger scale, eddy covariance masts are used at several locations (Zegveld, Aldeboarn and Lange Weide).
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is created by biological processes (nitrification and denitrification) under wet conditions. In Zegveld, nitrous oxide fluxes are measured on four plots with different drainage and nitrogen fertilisation. These measurements are conducted with automatic chambers.
When there is a high groundwater level and when the soil is flooded, there is an increased risk of methane (CH4) emissions. This process of anaerobic peat decomposition occurs in the part of the soil that is underwater. There, other bacteria break the peat down into methane in oxygen-free (‘anaerobic’) conditions.
View the animation on peat decomposition and the creation of greenhouse gases.