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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Remove vegetation that could compete with planted peatland vegetation Peatland Conservation

Key messages

Read our guidance on Key messages before continuing

  • One study evaluated the effects of removing competing plants to aid planted peatland vegetation. The study was in a bog.
  • Survival (1 study): One controlled study in a bog in the UK reported that some Sphagnum moss survived when sown (in gel beads) into a plot where purple moor grass had previously been cut, but no moss survived in a plot where grass had not been cut.

Supporting evidence from individual studies


A controlled study in 2010–2013 in a degraded, grassy blanket bog in England, UK (Rosenburgh 2015) reported that some sown Sphagnum moss survived in a plot where purple moor grass Molinia caerulea had previously been cut, but no moss survived in an uncut plot. This result was not tested for statistical significance. After three years, a plot that was flailed before sowing Sphagnum contained 28 Sphagnum clumps (0.03% cover). No Sphagnum survived in an adjacent plot that was not flailed before sowing. In October 2010, two adjacent 3 x 3 m plots were sown with flat-topped bog moss Sphagnum fallax, encapsulated in gel beads (400 beads/m2). Both plots were dominated by purple moor grass, but one was flailed (cut) before sowing. Grass litter was left in place. In September 2013, Sphagnum clumps were identified in each plot and their area was measured.

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.