International Symposium on Responsible Peatland Management
and Growing Media Production
Québec City, Canada, 13-17 June, 2011
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: PLENARY SESSIONS
WEDNESDAY, June 15, 2011, 8:30 to 9:55, room Suzor-Côté - Krieghoff (simultaneous translation English-French)
Towards responsible growing media manufacturing in North America, by Jean Caron
Ph. D., Dept. of Soil Science and Agrifood Engineering, Horticultural Research Center, Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada; email@example.com
Abstract: The growing media of industry is evolving in North America towards a responsible use of peat resources and peatland, an increased proportion of composted byproducts and other biomass, and an increased proportion of substrates containing biological agents. These changes are partly based on the introduction of new physical criteria for substrates design, having important consequences on the choice of materials and having different environmental impact on their use. This paper will compare different substrates of high quality, the basis behind their comparisons and the potential impact on C cycle, the cost of their manufacturing and the availability of the basic components associated with their manufacturing for the North American market.
Peatlands, Climate Change and Carbon: things we should be thinking about for the management of peatlands in a changing world, by Nigel Roulet
Ph. D., Department of Geography, McGill University, Montreal, Québec, Canada; firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: Peatlands store about 25% of the world’s terrestrial carbon and they are present-day, small but persistent sinks for atmospheric CO2 and globally significant sources of atmospheric CH4. Peatlands have played a global significant role in the carbon cycle and climate throughout the last 12,000 years resulting in a net radiative cooling that is equivalent to a ~ 20%, offset of the warming attributed to the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. Peatland carbon dynamics are intimately connected to hydrology, which in turn is a function of the exchanges of water and energy with the atmosphere and the laterally with the surrounding landscape. With climate change the exchanges of water and energy with the atmosphere will alter the storage of water, and changes in land use, whether on the peatland itself or within the watershed can alter the internal hydraulic properties and/or the lateral exchanges. These changes, will in turn, alter the rates and pathways of the carbon biogeochemistry and if the changes are persistent and/or destructive the vegetation structure will also change. However, peatlands are to some extent complex adaptive systems, meaning they possess a set of tightly coupled feedbacks mechanisms that result in a form of self-regulation. A central question for managers and planners to consider is whether external forces (e.g. climate change) or direct actions by human development alter the peatland enough to create a situation where the peatland move beyond the ability of the feedback mechanisms to self-regulate. The time period over which the self-regulation can re-establish the peatland to its natural trajectory is also critical to management questions. In terms of climate change the current relevant time periods are less than a century. Over the last decade the carbon stored and exchanges from natural ecosystems have become part of the discussions of the management of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Many developing countries are advocating compensation for the maintenance of their natural carbon stores – i.e. the cost of deferred development. In some jurisdictions the carbon stores and carbon function of peatlands is becoming one of the ecological processes and function in legislation, and/or land-use guidelines, policies and land-use planning practices. The emergence of these views in relation to carbon stores and ecosystem functions place an additional and different set of demands on the management of peatlands. Both a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the change in carbon and greenhouse function of peatlands are emerging as a new information need in the policy and planning process. Since the emergence of greenhouse gas emission registries and international protocols, carbon has gained a ‘real’ currency – i.e. carbon now has a price and is traded as a commodity. This means that both the indirect and direct anthropogenic changes to peatlands have real costs and hence the management of the carbon and greenhouse balance of peatlands takes on a new significance.
THURSDAY, June 16, 2011, 8:30 to 9:55, room Suzor-Côté - Krieghoff (simultaneous translation English-French)
The future of composts as ingredients of growing media, by Michael Raviv
Ph. D., Dept. of Environmental Horticulture, Agricultural Research Organization, Newe Ya'ar Research Center; email@example.com
Abstract: In the last several decades more and more food and cut flowers are grown in soilless media due to their inherent advantages. Recently, peat used in these substrates has been gradually replaced by composts. Limitations to the use of composts as ingredients of growing media are their physical properties, salinity, high pH and rate of residual degradation with time. As a result, normally the fraction of the compost in the mixture should not exceed 50%, although some exceptions exist. Advantages of composts as ingredients of growing media include their low cost, nutritional contribution and suppressiveness against soil-borne diseases. It can be concluded that the use of compost in growing media will continue to grow. Required future research, among others, should study the linkage between composting techniques and compost characteristics and predicted performance. The effect of compost storage on the shelf life of its desirable properties should also be studied.
Society and sustainable management of peatlands, by Jean-Pierre Revéret
Ph. D., Département stratégie, responsabilité sociale et environnementale, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Canada; firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: During this session, we will discuss reopening the debate on responsible management and its relationship with sustainable development within the scientific community and review the basic definitions on these subjects. Since the Earth Summit in Rio, almost 20 years ago, the message that industrialized countries should change their production and consumption patterns has been heard worldwide but not implemented at an even pace. However it is through practice in different countries and sectors that sustainable development is acquiring some substantial meaning. We shall explore how some key concepts were debated and put at work while a number of new Tools were developed besides some traditional ones in the management of human affairs. We shall cover the recent evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility, the emergence of the triple bottom line concept in performance evaluation, the increasing role of stakeholders, the still new concept of ecological goods and services, all calling for responsible management of resources. A series of new Tools like Life Cycle Analysis, both environmental and social, reporting Tools, new economic instruments, make it possible to implement the willingness to change and do it efficiently. Some sectors are acting collectively faster than others, we shall point the leaders, but most are “en route” to a new way of making decisions and producing goods and services.