Action: Retain or create buffer zones between pollution sources and peatlands
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects, on peatland vegetation, of retaining or creating buffer zones between pollution sources and peatlands.
‘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.
Buffer zones can separate a peatland from a pollution source, preventing pollution from reaching the peatland or slowing it down to allow more time for pollutants to break down. Buffer zones of existing vegetation could be retained around development (e.g. by not building right up to the edge of a peatland), or vegetated buffer zones could be specifically created. They may be planted with plants that can absorb or break down pollutants (Kadlec et al. 2000). Buffer zones could be harvested to provide income to support peatland conservation (Wantzen et al. 2006).
To be included as evidence in this section, studies must have reported the effect of buffer zones on focal protected peatlands. Studies that report effects on vegetation within a buffer zone (e.g. Hynninen et al. 2011) are not included: this vegetation is sacrificed (exposed to pollution) to protect the focal peatland.
Key peatland types for which this action may be appropriate: bogs, fens/fen meadows, tropical peat swamps.
Related actions: use artificial barriers to prevent pollution entering peatland.
Hynninen A., Hamberg L., Nousiainen H., Korpela L. & Nieminen M. (2011) Vegetation composition dynamics in peatlands used as buffer areas in forested catchments in southern and central Finland. Plant Ecology, 212, 1803–1818.
Kadlec R.H., Knight R.L., Vymazal J., Brix H., Cooper P. & Haberl R. (2000) Constructed Wetlands for Pollution Control: Processes, Performance, Design and Operation. IWA Publishing, London.
Wantzen K.M., Siqueira A., da Cunha C.N. & de Sá M.d.F.P. (2006) Stream-valley systems of the Brazilian Cerrado: impact assessment and conservation scheme. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 16, 713–732.