Action: Roughen peat surface to create microclimates (without planting)
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects, on peatland vegetation, of roughening the peat surface to create microclimates (without planting afterwards).
‘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.
Exposed bare peat can be too dry for peatland vegetation to naturally recolonize. Roughening the peat surface (e.g. by ploughing or driving over it, or by adding peat blocks) could benefit recolonization in two ways. First, it could create more suitable (sheltered and moist) microclimates for plant colonisation within low areas or depressions. Although raised areas might be less suitable for peatland vegetation initially, the idea is that peatland vegetation can spread from the depressions once they have been colonized. Second, disturbing the peatland surface will also break up any hard crust or loose peat that has developed, both of which can limit water supply to the vegetation above.
Key peatland types where this action may be appropriate: bogs, fens/fen meadows, tropical peat swamps.
Related actions: rewetting large areas of peatland by raising the water table; roughen peat surface, by creating mounds or hollows, before planting.