Peatlands have been used for many purposes in the past, ranging from peat mining for fuel to dumping of garbage and chemical waste. The total cleanup of the hazardous waste in the largest toxic waste area of the Netherlands and most heavily contaminated area in Western Europe, the Volgermeerpolder near Amsterdam, appeared to be impracticable and risky. Therefore, a novel approach has been chosen which involves covering the waste with special foil and sand. The natural vegetation in the Volgermeerpolder consisted of peat wetlands, however, and there was a strong plead from society to redevelop a natural vegetation cover. In response, the PeatCap research project was set-up to investigate the challenges of rehabilitation of peatlands in general, and the restoration of the orginal capacity of the Volgermeerpolder to grow peat in particular by trying to unravel the key mechanisms controlling recovery and development of peat lands.
In this interdisciplinary research project the University of Amsterdam collaborates with Radboud University Nijmegen and Utrecht University. The research of UvA focuses on the role of decomposition in initial peat formation, including the role of functional groups of detritivore consortia (invertebrates and bacteria), litter quality and environmental quality.
For more information please contact:
Ciska Overbeek email@example.com
Or Harm van der Geest firstname.lastname@example.org