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Effects of burning and grazing on carbon sequestration in a Pennine blanket bog,UK

Garnett, M.H., Ineson, P., and Stevenson, A.C. (2000) Effects of burning and grazing on carbon sequestration in a Pennine blanket bog,UK. Holocene, 10 (6). pp. 729-736. ISSN 0959-6836 (doi:10.1191/09596830094971)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1191/09596830094971

Abstract

Terrestrial ecosystems contain large amounts of carbon (C) and have the potential to significantly increase atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ) concentrations. Peatlands are particularly important for C storage, although little is known about the effects of anthropogenic activities on C balance in these ecosystems. Sheep-grazing and rotational burning are widely practised on blanket peat moorlands in the United Kingdom. The effects of these activities on C sequestration in peat has been investigated with a long-term randomized block experiment with treatments: (a) grazed 1 unburnt; (b) grazed 1 burnt every ten years; (c) ungrazed 1 unburnt. C accumulation under these treatments was compared by identifying a chronologically synchronous horizon within the peat common to all treatment plots. This fixed point was defined by the 'take-off' in concentration of spheroidal carbonaceous particles and was supported by the record of charcoal fragments. There was no significant difference in recent C accumulation rates between lightly grazed and ungrazed plots. In contrast, after 30 years there was significantly less C stored in the blanket peat in plots which had been burned every ten years. The results indicate that light sheep-grazing at this site did not affect rates of C accumulation in blanket peat, but decadal burning of moorland reduced C sequestration.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Garnett, Dr Mark
Authors: Garnett, M.H., Ineson, P., and Stevenson, A.C.
Subjects:Q Science > QE Geology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Holocene
ISSN:0959-6836

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