Berlin Environmental Atlas

01.19 Peatlands (Edition 2015)

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Map 01.19.2 Carbon Stocks of the Peatlands

The stored quantity of C that was calculated for the investigated peat soils amounts to more than 1 million tons. Hence Berlin's peatlands withdrew more than 4 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere over the course of the Holocene, thus contributing to global cooling (Holden 2005). The size of the C pools and the corresponding amounts of withdrawn CO2 of Berlin's peat soils vary significantly and depend on the one hand on the respective peat area size and thickness, on the other hand on the chemico-physical soil properties. It is remarkable that the carbon stocks of the investigated peatlands thus account for one fifth of the entire carbon stocks in Berlin’s soils with a share of 0.8 % of the area. The carbon stocks of approx. 5 million t  determined for all of Berlin's soils from the map Organic Carbon Stocks 01.06.6 are at least in this order of magnitude but were merely estimated using a different, significantly less precise method.

The largest C pool of over 150,000 t (these are 559,000 t CO2) is stored in the peat soils of the Gosen Meadows, due to their large area. However, because of the relatively low peat thicknesses the relative storage quantities here are in the lower range of Berlins peat soils, with less than 800 t/ha. The most area-effective C storage is found in the thick peat soils of the Kleine Pelzlaake. Here a maximal C storage quantity of more than 6,000 t/ha was calculated at the centre of the peatland. The average C pool in the Kleine Pelzlaake lies above 3,700 /ha. There are further important C pools in the peat soils, e.g. in the peatlands of the Tegeler Fließ.


Peat soils are often insufficiently taken into account in existing soil-function assessments due to their special position in the systematisation of soils, even though they are highly worthy of protection and have a high service capacity. In the research project "Berlin's Peatlands and Climate Change", existing Berlin soil function concepts are supplemented by an ecosystem approach, and significant, readily determinable parameters for different ecosystem services are identified and combined into indicators. This allows different climate protection services of peat soils to be assessed and represented in a differentiated matter, and likewise their habitat, water retention, filtering and cooling services. They are thus a valuable addition to the comprehensive soil function assessment that was developed in the maps of the soil functions based on the map of the soil associations. Further details can be found in the magazine "Bodenschutz" (Klingenfuß et al. 2015) and on the project web site

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