Labile and Vulnerable Carbon Storage

The labile part of vulnerable C, which could potentially be released, was determined using the hot-water extractable C (Chwe). An extraction method specifically designed for peat soils was applied for this purpose (Heller & Weiß 2015).

The occurring amount of labile and vulnerable C (Chwe) per hectare peatland was calculated by the following equation:

Chwe = Σ (MHi * Chwe Hi)

In this equation, Chwe stands for the labile and vulnerable C, MH describes the vertical thicknesses of each of aerated horizons in dm, Chwe is for the content of labile C per hectare and dm thickness of each aerated soil horizon i.

The assessment of the storage of labile and vulnerable C is carried out using a traffic-light rating system. The boundaries between grades were determined by frequency analysis.

Labile and vulnerable C Storage

Chwe [t/ha]

Rating Scale


low vulnerability

> 0 - ≤ 25

medium vulnerability

> 25

high vulnerability