Fens are groundwater-fed wetlands that once covered substantial surfaces in Central Europe. They deliver important services to society including carbon fixation, water buffering, biodiversity and nutrient retention. Nowadays most of these wetlands have been lost or highly decreased in size or quality. This has led to enormous losses in water buffering capacity and biodiversity and huge releases of carbon and nutrients. Despite all this negative effects of drainage even today freshwater wetlands still face the highest loss rate of all European habitat types. On the other hand, many countries have started restoration programs to get at least some of the functions of the lost wetlands back.
The present contribution will address factors that affect the sustainability of wetland restoration in relation to spatial scale and landscape connectivity. We will translate these findings into practical knowledge, aimed at evaluating restoration scenarios focusing on the optimisation of different services in restored fen systems. We will evaluate to what degree there are synergies possible between restoration activities aimed at increasing ecosystem resilience and those that seek to enhance other goals.