What danger fraught bushes?

Peatlands – one of the most important ecosystems on the planet. They serve as a repository of carbon dioxide and thus constrain threatening rhythms of global warming. However, in the last 50 years there has been a dangerous trend – mosses, which are the main source of peat, were gradually replaced by small bushes. Scientists from Switzerland conducted a study that attempted to determine how it affects the state of both the peat and in the overall environmental picture of the Earth.

For three years, have been carefully studied four peat, located at an altitude of 600 to 1,900 meters above sea level. These heights are selected randomly and reflect the projected climate change by 2050. It turned out that these peatlands seen rapid growth in the bush, which reduces the amount of peat produced by 50%. If to explain briefly, then shrubs use the nutrients of the soil, after which there is a complex process carried fungi in the soil. Soil temperature rises, shrubs produce large amounts of organic material in the soil, and it slows down the activity of microorganisms. As a consequence, the number of native mosses and lichens decreases and it may already cause that peat turned from a place of absorbing carbon, producing it in place.

To highlight the particular importance of peatlands, the researchers gave the following figures: Although peatlands cover only 3% of the Earth's surface, they contain about 30% of soil organic matter, which is equivalent to about 50% of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. They hold twice as much carbon as all the world's forests. Our website also published material about the benefits of peatlands, absorbing carbon dioxide and decomposing harmful chemical components.

In Switzerland, peatlands are protected by law, as reflected in a separate article of the Constitution, which refers to the salvation of peatland destruction. However, researchers continue to appeal to the public and continue to work on the survival of these unique places, said portal www.sciencedaily.com.

Category: Ecology

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