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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Reduce intensity of harvest (of wild biological resources) Peatland Conservation

Key messages

Read our guidance on Key messages before continuing

  • One study evaluated the effects on peatland vegetation of reducing harvest intensity (of wild biological resources). The study was in a bog.
  • Moss cover (1 study): One replicated, controlled study in a bog in New Zealand reported that Sphagnum moss cover was higher, three years after harvesting, when some Sphagnum was left in plots than when it was completely harvested.

Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated, controlled study in a bog in New Zealand (Whinam & Buxton 1997) reported that incompletely harvested plots regained Sphagnum moss cover more quickly than completely harvested plots. In plots where 30% of harvestable Sphagnum was left in place, Sphagnum cover was 90% after three years. In contrast, in plots from which all Sphagnum had been harvested, Sphagnum cover was only 50% after three years. No statistical tests were carried out and details of methods were not reported.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Taylor N.G., Grillas P. & Sutherland W.J. (2019) Peatland Conservation. Pages 375-438 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.