Southeast Agriculture Faculty to Co-Edit Book Series on Wetlands

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Two Southeast Missouri State University faculty members have been selected as lead co-editors for a new book series titled “Peatland Ecosystems.”

Dr. Michael Aide and Dr. Indi Braden, both professors of agriculture, were selected by global publisher IntechOpen based on their research on controlled drainage and associated denitrification bioreactors – irrigations systems for reducing nitrate concentrations and promoting water and soil health.

Dr. Indi Braden, Southeast professor of agriculture.

Their research on preserving important soil pathways after wetland conversion to cropland has been presented to the American Wetland Society.

“The inclusion of two University agriculture professors as book editors speaks to the scientific research conducted at Southeast,” Braden said. “This is a great opportunity to communicate and promote scientific efforts in ecosystem management.”

The book series will focus on wetland preservation, nutrient cycling and climate change, and will feature an array of authors and experts from around the world.

“Peatland ecosystems are soils and the habitat supported by these soils,” Aide said. “Peatlands are a type of wetland that possess an abundance of soil organic material and act to purify water. Because of mismanagement, they are a major greenhouse gas emitter and contribute to climate change.”

Peatlands reside in almost every nation and collectively constitute 3% of the global land surface, added Aide. Damaged peatlands contribute approximately 10% of the greenhouse gas emissions from the land use sector.

“Additionally, wetlands support an intense array of microorganism that purify water resources,” Aide said. “Peatlands act to minimize the risk of flooding and drought, reduce the risk of saltwater intrusion and provide for biodiversity. Currently, many nations have enacted regulatory protocols to safeguard these resources and to protect them from further degradation.”

Dr. Michael Aide, Southeast professor of agriculture.

“Peatland Ecosystems” aims to be the wetland resource on the achievements of protecting and restoring peatlands, understanding their nutrient pathways, documenting their vital ecosystem services and for instituting insightful research and mitigating climate change across the globe, Aide said.

The series will serve as a resource to researchers, biologists, geologists and soil scientists tasked with wetland management.

“The book series intends to provide the reader with an accurate and completely modern understanding of peatland ecosystems, their diversity across contrasting landscapes, their ability to be managed to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and their compatibility with human communities to safely provide pristine and sustainable water resources,” said Aide.

Braden added, “In the classroom and in my research, I often take the approach of the big picture – examining the ecosystem and emphasizing the importance of understanding complex relationships and connections within a system. The series will help promote scientific efforts to understand this delicate and extremely important aspect of wetlands and water quality that we teach in the classroom.”

“Peatland Ecosystems” will be published this summer.

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