Action: Use low impact harvesting techniques (for wild biological resources)
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects, on peatland vegetation, of using low impact harvesting techniques (for wild biological resources).
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this action during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore we have been unable to assess whether or not the action is effective or has any harmful impacts. Please get in touch if you know of such a study for this action.
The impact of biological resource harvests could be reduced by better planning and/or using alternative techniques. For example, vehicles used for harvesting can compress, sink into and create ruts in wet peat soils. These impacts can be reduced by planning routes so the same ground is not repeatedly crossed, whilst ensuring vehicles are not overloaded and heavy (Schröder et al. 2015). Bails of vegetation could be rolled behind vehicles rather than carried on vehicles, spreading their weight over a larger area (Dubowski et al. 2013). In tropical forests, techniques to reduce logging impacts include directing the fall of felled trees, cutting lianas before felling (so they don’t drag down other trees linked to the felled tree) and planning to keep disturbance from roads as small as possible (FAO 2004).
To be included as evidence, studies must have compared low impact harvesting techniques with alternative, traditional techniques.
Key peatland types where this action may be appropriate: bogs, fens/fen meadows, tropical peat swamps.
Dubowski A.P., Zembrowski K., Rakowicz A., Palowski T., Weymann S. & Wojnilowicz L. (2013) Developing new-generation machinery for vegetation management on protected wetlands in Poland. Mires and Peat, 13, Article 11.
FAO (2004) Reduced Impact Logging in Tropical Forests: Literature Synthesis, Analysis and Prototype Statistical Framework. Forest Harvesting and Engineering Programme. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.
Schröder C., Dahms T., Paulitz J., Wichtmann W. & Wichmann S. (2015) Towards large-scale paludiculture: addressing the challenges of biomass harvesting in wet and rewetted peatlands. Mires and Peat, 16, Article 13.