On Friday July 8 the Boussinesq Spring/Summer event was held at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. During the morning session exciting talks by Hugo de Boer (carbon and water fluxes by plants), Josh Dean (carbon in rivers) and Monique Heijmans (carbon in peat soils) set the stage for an inspiring day on the theme Water and Carbon with 29 participants.
After lunch we departed to the Ilperveld. Here we boarded for a 2 hour boat trip through this amazing peatland complex. Michel Hensens guided us through the history of the region. Surprisingly, the now scenic wetlands appeared to have a long history as waste dumpsite of the city of Amsterdam, including being a dump site for hospitals up to the late 1950s. Michel explained how this pollution, which is still in the ground, is being managed and how this improved the botanical and water quality of the area during the last decades.
Halfway the tour, we met up with Ko van Huissteden. Ko explained what equipment he and his research group use in the Ilperveld to measure carbon fluxes coming from peat in order to establish if this site is a net source or sink of green house gases. At 5 o’clock we were back at the Vrije Universiteit, nicely in time to finish the day with well-deserved drinks and snacks.
09:30 doors open
10:00 Hugo de Boer (UU): Plants: the green pumps in the terrestrial hydrological cycle
10:45 Josh Dean (VU): Terrestrial carbon cycling and the role of the “aquatic pathway”
11:30 Coffee break
11:45 Monique Heijmans (WUR): Water and carbon and (peat) mosses
13:00 Departure to Ilperveld
~16:30 Leave Ilperveld, back to Vrije Universiteit