Paludiculture: sustainable management of peatlands through wet agriculture

Supervisor: Jeroen Geurts (

Are you interested in peatlands, their utilisation and restoration? Do you want to contribute to a better climate? And are you also curious about the interaction between agriculture and environmental quality issues (soil, water, atmosphere)? Then an internship on paludiculture might be just the thing for you!

What is paludiculture?     
The word ‘paludiculture’ stems from the Latin word ‘palus’, meaning ‘mire’ or ‘marsh’. Paludiculture is the practice of crop production on wet soils, predominantly occurring on peatlands. In conventional agriculture, many peatlands are drained to enable e.g. grazing of cows. Unfortunately, drainage causes a myriad of problems, such as land subsidence and increased flood risks. By increasing the water table, these problems can be avoided. After rewetting, the cultivation of flood tolerant plant species can prevent eutrophication as well as provide an alternative product for farmers. Thus, the primary purpose of paludiculture is the preservation and restoration of peatlands, while simultaneously utilizing the produced biomass.

In our project we study the possibilities and advantages of paludiculture in the Netherlands. We have a field site in close to Utrecht and in Brabant, where we currently run multiple experiments. We also carry out controlled experiments in the greenhouse and have possibilities for modelling studies.

A few examples of possible topics:
Linking paludiculture to the water framework directive and ecosystem services
Investigating greenhouse gas emissions from paludiculture and creating a carbon balance
Studying nutrient dynamics in a paludiculture system
Assessing practical aspects of paludiculture (e.g. crop demands, sustainability, planting and harvesting methods)

What are your own ideas? Let us know!

We invite you to contact us (by e-mail, or by having a cup of coffee) if you are excited about an internship project on paludiculture!

Carbon Connects: Field studies and business cases

Join our team of paludiculture scientists!

Join our team of paludiculture scientists!