Reprofile/relandscape peatland (without planting)

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of reprofiling/relandscaping peatlands (without planting) on peatland vegetation. The study was in degraded bogs (being restored as fens).
  • Plant community composition (1 study): One site comparison study in Canada reported that after five years, reprofiled (and rewetted) bogs contained a different plant community to nearby natural fens.
  • Vegetation cover (1 study): The same study reported that after five years, reprofiled (and rewetted) bogs had lower vegetation cover (Sphagnum moss, other moss and vascular plants) than nearby natural fens.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A site comparison study in 2008–2014 in a historically mined bog in Quebec, Canada (Rochefort et al. 2016) reported that areas restored by creating terraces and embankments (and raising the water table) developed a different plant community to nearby natural fens, with less vegetation cover. These results were not tested for statistical significance. Note that the aim of this study was to create a fen, as the post-mining peat chemistry was more like a fen than a bog. Five years after intervention, the overall plant community composition of the restored areas was different from three nearby natural fens (data reported as a graphical analysis). In the restored areas, Sphagnum moss was absent (vs 15–25% in natural fens), other moss cover only 1% (vs 12–55%) and vascular plant cover only 24% (vs 59–86%). In winter 2009/2010, parts of a historically mined bog (abandoned for nine years) were reprofiled (pushing the top 30 cm of degraded peat into embankments) and rewetted (by blocking drainage ditches). The study does not distinguish between the effects of these interventions. Vegetation cover was estimated in 2008 (donor fen; in 16 quadrats along a transect) or 2014 (restored areas: in five 25 m2 plots).

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Taylor, N.G., Grillas, P. & Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Peatland Conservation. Pages 367-430 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Peatland Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Peatland Conservation
Peatland Conservation

Peatland Conservation - Published 2018

Peatland Conservation

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What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

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