Work Packages

Work Packages of the project: Reducing the effects of forest management to inland waters

WP 1. Less-invasive forest management as a tool for reducing DOM load

In this WP, we will study potential ways to reduce the DOM and nutrient load from forested peatland catchments using different forest management options and biochar. We will compare the DOM export in experimental areas in following treatments: 1) uncut control forest, 2) thinning with ditch network maintenance, 3) clearcutting with ditch network maintenance and 4) continuous cover forestry without ditch network maintenance and after clear-cut and ditch network maintenance (treatment 5). The quality i.e. biodegradability of DOM will be determined from the water samples with incubation experiments and using molecule level cutting-edge techniques such as the FT-ICR-MS

WP 2. Biochar as a potential tool for reducing the export of DOM and inorganic nutrients to inland waters

In this WP, we will test the potential of biochar for capturing the inorganic nutrients and DOM released from the soil and therefore it decreases the nutrient export load. For testing this hypothesis, we will develop filters made of biochar for removing DOM and inorganic nutrients from water running in the ditches in the ditch network maintenance areas. The partners at the University of Eastern Finland are mainly responsible of the biochar-based water protection studies.

WP 3. Model-based tool for combined planning of peatland forest management operations and biochar filtering aiming to decrease DOM export load to water courses

In this WP, we will combine the experimental results from WP1-2 to develop a state-of-the-art process-based simulation model calculating the fate of DOM from peat to ditch, and through water protection filter to water bodies, and finally in the form of CO2 to the atmosphere.

Study sites

In Finland (University of Eastern Finland, University of Helsinki), the study site is Paroninkorpi research area in Southern Finland, which is a site of a long-term field experiment testing the effects of different forest management options on forest carbon balance, greenhouse gas emissions and water quality in peatlands (treatments: clear-cut, continuous cover forestry and ditch network maintenance).

In Estonia (University of Tartu), the study site is Järvseljä experimental area in Southern Estonia. This long-term field experiment area is established for testing the effects of ditch maintenance on forest carbon balance, greenhouse gas emissions and water quality.

In Ireland (University College Dublin) the research is conducted in Meeneenbog area in Western Ireland, which is the site for a long-term field experiment for testing the effects of ditch maintenance on water quality and greenhouse gas emissions.

In Sweden (Krycklan and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) the Krycklan catchment in Northern Sweden is used for the long-term field experiment for testing the effects of ditch network maintenance on water quality, greenhouse gas emissions and forest carbon balance.

Column experiment

In addition to the field measurements, we have collected columns for a laboratory experiment for studying the effect of ditch network maintenance on soil organic matter decomposition, DOM formation and DOM quality. Columns have been collected from all sites in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Ireland for a joint column experiment to be carried out in the laboratory in Joensuu, University of Eastern Finland.