Destruction of peatlands happens constantly, due to the joined influence of many common factors. The first, and most important, factor to cause the destruction of peatlands is the climate change. Climate change causes the temperature to rise, floods and plant erosion, which all expose the soil to the air, thus creating emission of carbon-dioxide. Wildfires, floods as well as the human exploitation of the soil, all have the similar effect to peatlands. They are exposing it to the air and water, allowing to the carbon to be released from the soil into the environment. However, destruction of peatlands can cause other devastating consequences as well.
Peatlands provide essential water regulation, as they consist 90% out of the water. These water supplies are of crucial importance to the survival of plants and animals in these lands. Disturbance and destruction of the soil can deprive the remaining layers of soil their water regulation, which may further cause floods. Throughout the year, peatlands protect again floods, as they accumulate water from the rainfall. Meters deep, these wetlands can store enormous amounts of water if not disturbed.
Peatlands and Their Significant Role
Peatlands play a significant role in preserving the biodiversity of the ecosystems. They are natural habitats to many rare species. In the largest number, peatlands are homes of the tropical animals, out of which many are facing extinction. Some of these species are the orangutan and the Sumatran tiger. Following devastation and destruction of peatlands, many of these animals lose their natural habitat, which puts them at even greater risk of the extinction. Peatlands are also homes to the variety of the endogenous plants. Many plant species are being destroyed or distinct due to human exploitation of the land. Compromising biodiversity of the peatlands might result in the extinction of animal and plant species, which would result in devastating consequences to the ecosystems.
Carbon emission is also one of the devastating consequences to the destruction of peatlands. Any exposure of the land to air and water results in the emission of carbon-dioxide to the environment. Carbon-dioxide is one of the most toxic gasses to enter the atmosphere, as it is one of the gasses to cause a green-house effect.
Recovery of damaged peatlands is an extremely slow process, as the soil has the capacity to rejuvenate at the amount of a single square millimeter per year. Many state governments are now investing generous amounts of money to the recovery of peatlands, in the hopes that they will be able to speed the process up. These countries are suffering a lot of consequences due to the exploitation of peatlands, and will have to put great efforts, as well as patience, into reviving their natural resources.