University of Oulu

Nieminen, M., Palviainen, M., Sarkkola, S. et al. Ambio (2017).

A synthesis of the impacts of ditch network maintenance on the quantity and quality of runoff from drained boreal peatland forests

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Author: Nieminen, Mika1; Palviainen, Marjo2; Sarkkola, Sakari1;
Organizations: 1Natural Resources Institute, Finland
2Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki
3Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-10-29


Drained peatlands are an important source of forest biomass in boreal regions and ditch network maintenance (DNM) operations may be needed to restore the drainage functions of ditches. By reviewing the available literature, as well as utilizing an existing hydrological model and analyzing the characteristics of eroded sediments, we assessed the impacts of DNM on runoff and exports of suspended solids (SS), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P). In general, DNM had minor impact on runoff and dissolved N and P, and it decreased rather than increased DOC exports. To increase the understanding of the hydrochemical impacts of DNM, future research should focus on the characteristics of SS and particulate nutrient exports. A major gap in knowledge is also the very limited regional representativeness of the available studies. High erosion risk in the ditches reaching the mineral soil below peat should be acknowledged when planning mitigation measures.

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Series: Ambio. A journal of the human environment
ISSN: 0044-7447
ISSN-E: 1654-7209
ISSN-L: 0044-7447
Volume: 47
Issue: 5
Pages: 523 - 534
DOI: 10.1007/s13280-017-0966-y
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
Funding: The WAMBAF (Water Management in Baltic Forests) project funded from the EU Baltic Sea Region Programme is acknowledged for providing funding.
Copyright information: © Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2017. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Ambio. The final authenticated version is available online at: