Does restoration of wetlands help to counteract the browning of lakes and streams? (Master)

Last changed: 16 February 2022

This project aims to find out if wetland restoration contributes to counteracting the increasing levels of organic carbon observed in many lakes and streams over the past 30 years.

Restoration of drained wetlands is encouraged politically to increase biodiversity, reduce the risk of floods and droughts, and increase carbon retention. But the effect of flooding peat soils on water quality in downstream aquatic environments is uncertain. Since the 90s, a browning of lakes and streams has taken place in many places across the northern hemisphere, i.e. that many waters have become browner due to increased levels of dissolved organic material. However, it is unclear whether restoration of drained peatlands mitigates or increases this browning.

In this project, we will sample water from about 30 recently restored wetlands and compare with as many historically drained wetlands that have not been restored. The wetlands span a gradient in climate, soil conditions and vegetation, from Småland in the south to Norrbotten in the north.

The work starts at the end of May 2022 with about 4 weeks in the field, when wetlands are identified and sampled. If you do not have the opportunity to start in June, get in touch and we will discuss possible arrangements. In this project, it is possible to collaborate with a dissertation colleague who focuses on mercury in the same wetlands (see the ad Do restored wetlands contribute to elevated methylmercury in water?). 

The thesis should be written in English. 

Supervisor is Marcus Wallin at the Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, SLU.


  • Main subject area: Environmental science
  • Level and length: advanced level (Master, 30 hp / 20 weeks)
  • Language: English