Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists Succeed In Protecting The Green Lungs Of Europe

01.02.2008
Research carried out by scientists from Earthwatch, the international environmental charity, has reinforced the urgent need to protect Europe’s remaining peat bogs.

Dubbed the ‘rainforests of Europe’ as they are so diverse in wildlife, peat bogs contain more than 20 per cent of the world’s carbon. However, western Europe has lost most of its natural peat bogs, largely due to peat extraction for horticulture.

Over the last three years, Earthwatch scientists have conducted the first botanical survey of Yelyna, the largest raised peat bog in Europe and a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance, which stretches over 26,175 hectares. In 2002 a series of fires decimated 85 per cent of the bog, resulting in considerable economic loss for local people who rely on the harvesting of swamp cranberries.

This research led to the discovery of 17 new locations of eight rare and endangered plants at Yelyna. In response, the Belarus Ministry of Natural Resources announced the creation of a national peat bog monitoring programme that will ensure plant hotspots at Yelyna are protected.

Two bogs, Velikiiji Moh and Fomino (equating to 5,016 hectares), have also been designated as protected nature sanctuaries as a direct result of the research. Between them, these bogs will absorb and store approximately 1,354.32 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year – equivalent to the combined emissions of almost 300 London households.*

“It is estimated that globally, peat bogs store twice as much carbon as forests,” explains Nat Spring, Head of Research at Earthwatch (Europe). “Even if most people don’t know that the bogs of Belarus exist, protecting them is of vital importance if we are to combat climate change.”

The bogs of Belarus provide an important refuge for migratory birds as they travel between western Europe and northern Russia, including the most threatened species of bird in Europe, the aquatic warbler.

The long-term goal of this research project is to inform the effective conservation of all of the raised bogs of Belarus. Since 2004, 90 Earthwatch volunteers have donated their time to help survey these peat lands. They include members of the public, corporate employees and Eastern European scientists and educators funded through Earthwatch’s capacity building programme.

*According to figures from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, pristine bogs accumulate CO2 at a rate of 0.27 tonnes per hectare per year. Research published in November 2007 by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) combines car emissions with government figures on household CO2 levels. Households in the city of London emit 4.6 tonnes of carbon per year.

Zoe Gamble | alfa
Further information:
http://www.earthwatch.org/europe

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists on the road to discovering impact of urban road dust
18.01.2018 | University of Alberta

nachricht Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk
17.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>