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Artificial drainage of peatlands: hydrological and hydrochemical process and wetland restoration

Holden, J., Chapman, P.J. and Labadz, J.C. (2004) Artificial drainage of peatlands: hydrological and hydrochemical process and wetland restoration. Progress in Physical Geography, 28 (1). pp. 95-123. ISSN 0309-1333

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Peatlands have been subject to artificial drainage for centuries. This drainage has been in response to agricultural demand, forestry, horticultural and energy properties of peat and alleviation of flood risk. However, the are several environmental problems associated with drainage of peatlands. This paper describes the nature of these problems and examines the evidence for changes in hydrological and hydrochemical processes associated with these changes. Traditional black-box water balance approaches demonstrate little about wetland dynamics and therefore the science of catchment response to peat drainage is poorly understood. It is crucial that a more process-based approach be adopted within peatland ecosystems. The environmental problems associated with peat drainage have led, in part, to a recent reversal in attitudes to peatlands and we have seen a move towards wetland restoration. However, a detailed understanding of hydrological, hydrochemical and ecological process-interactions will be fundamental if we are to adequately restore degraded peatlands, preserve those that are still intact and understand the impacts of such management actions at the catchment scale.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © Arnold 2004. This is an author produced version of an article published in Progress in Physical Geography.
Keywords: peat, moorland gripping, wetland restoration, water table, blanket peat, afforestation, drainage
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Geography (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 25 May 2005
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2014 14:27
Published Version: http://www.arnoldpublishers.com/journals/pages/pro...
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1191/0309133304pp403ra
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/485

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