Maarit Liimatainen, PhD, Post Doctoral Researcher

Expertize: Greenhouse gases, drained peatlands in different land-use, HONO emissions from soil

E-mail: maarit.liimatainen (a)

Phone: +358 40 355 2203

Room number: Snellmania 4120/3

Current projects: OHNO2, PEATWISE

Past projects: MYRKLIMA, ash fertilization in peatland forests


I am a post doc researcher working in a project 'The origin of nitrous acid (HONO) emissions from northern soils and linkages to nitrogen cycle processes' (Finnish Academy, 2016-2020). In the project our aim is to understand the emissions of HONO coming from soil, which are the processes producing HONO and which are the environmental and other parametres affecting HONO production in the soil.

I defended in December 2016 here at University of Eastern Finland. In my PhD project I studied peatlands drained for forestry or agriculture and their greenhouse gas emissions, in which I concentrated mostly on nitrous oxide (N2O). One aim in my PhD project was to find out what explains the high spatial and temporal variation in N2O emissions. To do that I studied soil samples from 12 different field sites in Finland, Sweden and Iceland in the laboratory. With different laboratory techniques (e.g. 15N pool dilution, inhibition experiments, PLFA, substrate induced respiration etc.) I studied what are the biogeochemical processes behind high variation in N2O emissions in drained peatlands.

Concerning peat forests I studied how granulated wood ash fertilization affects greenhouse gases (GHG), and the main interest was on N2O. Bioenergy production has increased significantly lately and the increase will continue in the future. At the same time huge amounts of ash is produced as a by-product in power plants. Ash contains a lot of nutrients but no nitrogen. Therefore it can be used as a fertilizer in peat forests, which usually have enough nitrogen but may lack other nutrients. Nowadays ash is granulated to stabilize the ash and to transform it into a form that is easier to spread in forests. Most of the studies till now have studied fine ash. In my PhD project I studied granulated wood ash and the aim was to find out how it effects on soil properties and greenhouse gas emissions in peat forests.

Previously in my master thesis studies in University of Kuopio (also in Biogeochemistry research group) I focused mainly on CH4 dynamics of wetlands, especially in shoreline of a freshwater lake. In that project I was estimating the proportion of methane oxidation using also stable carbon isotope techniques.

Research interests: HONO, drained peatlands, land-use, greenhouse gases, ash fertilization

Title of the PhD thesis: Factors controlling nitrous oxide emissions from drained peat soils - effects of wood ash fertilization



  • Liimatainen M, Voigt C, Martikainen PJ, Hytönen J, Regina K, Oskarsson H, Maljanen M, 2018. Factors controlling nitrous oxide emissions from managed northern peat soils with low carbon to nitrogen ratio. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 122:186-195.
  • Liimatainen M, Martikainen PJ, Maljanen M, 2014. Why granulated wood ash decreases N2O production in boreal acidic peat soil? Soil Biology & Biochemistry 79: 140-148.
  • Maljanen M, Liimatainen M, Hytönen J, Martikainen PJ, 2014. The effect of granulated wood ash fertilization on soil properties and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in boreal peatland forests. Boreal Environment Research 19: 295-309.
  • Maljanen M, Liimatainen M, Sigurdsson B, 2015. Effect of volcanic ash on GHG production rates and soil properties in a drained peat soil compared to wood ash. Icelandic Agricultural Sciences 28: 25-28.
  • Marushchak ME, Friborg T, Biasi C, Herbst M, Johansson T, Kiepe I, Liimatainen M, Lind SE, Martikainen PJ, Virtanen T, Soegaard H, Shurpali NJ, 2015. Methane dynamics in warming tundra of Northeast European Russia. Biogeosciences 13: 597-608.
  • Liimatainen M, Maljanen M, Hytönen J, 2016. Raetuhkalannoituksen vaikutus suometsien N2O-päästöihin. Suo 67(1): 18-22.

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