Comment on "Soil CO 2, CH 4 and N 2O fluxes from an afforested lowland raised peat bog in Scotland: implications for drainage and restoration" by Yamulki et al. (2013)
Yamulki and co-authors address in their recent publication the important issue of net emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from peatlands where land use conversion has taken place. In their case, they studied conversion to forestry versus peatland restoration after a first rotation of plantation forestry. They monitored soil-derived fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO 2), methane (CH 4) and nitrous oxide (N 2O) using opaque chamber measurements on planted and unplanted control treatments (with or without drainage), and an unplanted plot within a restored (felled) block on former lowland raised bog. They propose that their measurements of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at these sites suggest that the total net GHG emissions, in 100 yr carbon dioxide equivalents, of the restored peat bog would be higher than that of the peat bog with trees. We believe there are a number of issues with the measurement, calculation and comparison of these greenhouse budgets that may invalidate this conclusion.