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The department of Peatland Studies and Palaeoecology studies peatlands in an integrative way at the crossroads between:

  - palaeo-ecology (palynology, macro remain analysis, geochemistry)

  - ecology (bio indicators, peat formation and accumulation)

  - landscape ecology (eco-hydrology, mire and landscape development, human impact, climate change)

  - nature conservation (classification, biodiversity, restoration) and

  - wise use (peatland functions, Sphagnum cultivation).

 

Our group has specialised on studying lesser-known mire (percolation, spring, and self-sealing mires) and peat types (e.g. alder wood and brown moss peat) and runs research projects in several European countries as well as Siberia, Georgia (Transcaucasia), and Tierra del Fuego.

The department of Peatland Studies and Palaeoecology runs the Secretariat of the International Mire Conservation Group (IMCG), a global network of mire and peatland conservationists; the Secretariat edits and compiles the quarterly IMCG Newsletter. As such our group has been instrumental in developing globally valid Wise Use concepts for mires and peatlands. Furthermore, the group has worked in developing conservation strategies in Central and Eastern Europe as well as the Russian Federation. Besides a worldwide overview on distribution and state of peatlands, a volume on classification, distribution, state, and conservation of peatlands in Europe is in preparation.

The department of Peatland Studies and Palaeoecology is responsible for peatland related education, both for students of biology and of landscape ecology & nature conservation. Besides lectures, there are yearly courses in pollen- and macro-remain analysis. Every two years the group offers an excursion in the peatland-rich areas of Eastern and Northern Europe. A series of student and master's projects is being absolved. Students and scientists from Great Britain, Poland, Yakutia, Vietnam, Spain, Hungary and Iran are or have been visiting our group.