Carbon exchange in restiad wetlands

Restiad peat bogs are only found in New Zealand and form peats more than 10 m deep in places. The peat is formed predominantly by a remarkable plant – Empodisma – also known as wirerush. A large area of these bogs have been converted to agriculture mainly pasture grazed by dairy cows. Dave Campbell is leading an investigation of the carbon balance of Kopouatai peat bog in the Hauraki plains. This is the largest remaining bog and a Ramsar site. Understanding the carbon fluxes (CO2, CH4 and dissolved carbon losses) and factors that control these fluxes are central to protecting these bogs. Measuring these fluxes also serves as a baseline of important greenhouse gas emissions against which we can compare emissions from adjacent agriculture.

In a video, Dave overviews restiad peat bogs here, and is interviewed by Alison Ballance (RadioNZ) here (description and photos here) and in a Blogpost describes the main research site Kopouatai here. Our most recent wetland restoration work with Landcare Research is summarised on their website.