The ecosystem of peatland research: a bibliometric analysis

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Peatlands provide a range of services to societies, such as sequestration of organic carbon, biodiversity protection, attenuation of water flow, and the provision of fuel, wood and fruit, among others. Despite their global importance, no study has yet characterised peatland research on a global scale. This study aims at providing a better understanding of the geographical distribution of peatland research, of its variations through time, and of the specific topics studied. Results show that peatland research has, between 1991 and 2017, become increasingly international and diversified, with more countries and study sites active, and an increase in foreign sites studied. We do observe, however, that the general vast peatland regions of the world showed relatively distinct profiles in terms of topics which, in most cases, are related to their geographical features. Peatland research has a spatial imbalance in favour of central Europe, with studies in Africa and Brazil highly under-represented in relation to their area, and those in western and eastern Siberia moderately under-represented. We also observe some topics have become increasingly studied during recent decades, e.g. climate change, fire, restoration and carbon, while others have been decreasingly studied, such as botany, nitrogen and coal.

This content has been updated on August 31 2020 at 11 h 30 min.