Quantification of carbon losses from organic soils
Worldwide, organic soils store vast amounts of soil organic carbon, but drainage for agriculture, forestry and peat extraction has destroyed many of these valuable ecosystems and turned them from carbon sinks into carbon sources to the atmosphere. Even if an undisturbed peatlands is not threatened by drainage for economic utilization, climate change and increased nitrogen deposition might still influence carbon fluxes and species composition due to a change of hydro-meteorological conditions and nutrient supply. To understand ecosystem dynamics and to evaluate strategies for successful carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction, reliable measurements of carbon fluxes are required. Here, we give a brief literature overview as well as describe and compare the two most commonly used methods for measuring fluxes of CO2 and methane: the eddy-covariance technique and the closed-chamber method. Besides, we briefly explain further components of the carbon balance such as dissolved organic carbon.