Opportunities and Challenges of Sphagnum Farming & Harvesting
Ludwig, Gilbert (2019)
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
Sphagnum sp. moss, of which there are globally about 380 species, are the principal peat forming organisms in temperate and boreal peatlands. Sphagnum farming & harvesting has been proposed as climate-smart and carbon neutral use and after-use of peatlands, and dried Sphagnum have been shown to be excellent raw material for most growing media applications. The state, prospects and challenges of Sphagnum farming & harvesting in different parts of the world are evaluated: Sphagnum farming as paludiculture and after-use of agricultural peatlands and cut-over bogs, Sphagnum farming on mineral soils and mechanical Sphagnum harvesting. Challenges of Sphagnum farming and harvesting as a mean to reduce peat dependency in growing media are still significant, with industrial upscaling, i.e. ensuring adequate quantities of raw material, and economic feasibility being the biggest barriers. Development of new, innovative business models and including Sphagnum in the group of agricultural products eligible for subsidies, could in the future open up new and sustainable livelihood opportunities for landowners and peat extraction professionals, and ultimately may be key in reducing the peat dependence of growing media.