Research meeting in Repeat in Fjærland spring 2023

Beautiful Fjærland was the venue for the first meeting bringing together researchers in Repeat, held May 30th – June 1st 2023. Over the course of two days, seventeen participants got to know each other and the content and progression of the five work packages. It was particularly nice that partners from the University of Oslo (UiO), the Norwegian Institute for Nature Management (NINA) and from British partner institutions – University of Edinburgh (UoE), The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Forest Research (FR) – also had made the trip, and filled out the core group from HVL and UiA.

The program included Rune Halvorsen's (UiO) introduction to peatlands, and Anders Lyngstad's (NINA) presentation of what is special about raised bogs. Rob Hughes (RSPB) briefed the group on the status of peatland restoration in Scotland, Ainoa Pravia (FR) on monitoring such restoration, and Dan van der Horst talked about conflicts at the intersection between wind power, peatlands, and climate in Scotland. Stein J. Hegland summarized the results of several master theses on peatland, written by candidates in the Climate Change Management program at HVL.

The plenary sessions on the first day also included presentations of what is being learned in the various work packages. Postdoc. Julien Vollering presented carbon measurements from two of the project’s study areas, Okla and Turufjell, and pointed out inaccuracies in existing data. PhD candidate Ingrid Koren presented her plans for tracking the historical valuation and utilization of peatlands in Norway since the 19th century. PhD candidate Katinka Vloon presented preliminary results from long-term investigations of vegetation changes in the restored peatland Rønnåsmyra. These three will also present orally or with posters at the European Peatland Conference in Antwerp, Belgium, in September 2023. Knut Rydgren presented preliminary results from one of the Scottish long-term vegetation data series, while Mikaela Vasstrøm summarized the outcome of the first co-creation workshop (Sogndal, April 2022) and pointed out the way towards the next workshop, which will take place in Bergen in October 2023. We also heard an exclusive short summary of a master's thesis by Vetle Flaget (UiA), which he submitted the day after!

After many hours of concentrated work, it was nice to get out and enjoy the sun and early summer. Those that were quick managed both a hike up a lush mountainside in Fjærland and a combined sauna/swim at the fjord, before dinner.

On the second day, we split into two groups, to make space for internal discussions in work packages 1+4 and 2+3, respectively. These parallel sessions were useful for all the participants and gave rise to new angles and good ideas for further development. The meeting ended in plenary with a summary of plans going forward from each work package. We look forward to the further work in Repeat, and to the many exciting opportunities that lie in this collaboration.