Incorporating Wetland Carbon Values into Spatially Explicit Tools to Inform Land Use Decisions

Ducks Unlimited Canada

Project Type

Research & Development

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Wetlands are some of the most productive ecosystems on the planet, and as a result store approximately 25 – 35 percent of the world’s terrestrial carbon. Their value as carbon sinks means it is important to determine the amount of carbon currently stored in remaining wetlands, and to be able to predict potential carbon losses – released as GHGs through a depletion of soil organic carbon – due to industrial activities and wetland drainage. The objective of this project is to develop a spatially explicit map, at a scale useful for land-use planning of wetland carbon distribution, throughout the Prairie Pothole Region and in large portions of the Boreal and Taiga Plains.

This carbon map will be built using detailed wetland inventories conducted by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), peer-reviewed literature, and other databases. Government, developers and other stakeholders involved in land-use planning will be able to use this map to identify high-value carbon areas that are potentially at risk of alteration and subsequent carbon losses due to industrial activities.

ERA funded this project through the Biological GHG Management Program, administered by Alberta Innovates. Other project partners include Environment Canada.