Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Replace blocks of vegetation after mining or peat extraction Two studies evaluated the effects on peatland vegetation of replacing blocks of vegetation after mining or peat extraction. One study was in a bog and one was in a fen. Plant community composition (2 studies): Two studies, in a bog in the UK and a fen in Canada, reported that transplanted vegetation blocks retained their peatland vegetation community. In the UK, the community of the transplanted blocks did not change over time. In Canada, the community of replaced vegetation blocks remained similar to an undisturbed fen. Vegetation cover (2 studies): One before-and-after study in the UK reported that bare peat next to translocated bog vegetation developed vegetation cover (mainly grass/rush). Sphagnum moss cover declined in the translocated blocks. One site comparison study in Canada reported that replaced fen vegetation blocks retained similar Sphagnum and shrub cover to an undisturbed fen. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1738https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1738Mon, 27 Nov 2017 21:22:54 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Remove plant litter to maintain or restore disturbance Two studies evaluated the effects on peatland vegetation of removing plant litter to maintain or restore disturbance. One study was in fen meadow and one was in a fen. Plant community composition (2 studies): Two replicated, controlled studies (one randomized, one paired, before-and-after) in a fen meadow in Germany and a fen in Czech Republic found that removing plant litter did not affect plant community composition. Vegetation cover (1 study): One replicated, paired, controlled, before-and-after study in a fen in the Czech Republic found that removing plant litter did not affect bryophyte or tall moor grass cover. Overall plant richness/diversity (2 studies): One replicated, randomized, controlled study in a fen meadow in Germany reported that removing plant litter increased plant species richness and diversity. However, one replicated, paired, controlled, before-and-after study in a fen in the Czech Republic found that removing litter did not affect vascular plant diversity. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1760https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1760Mon, 27 Nov 2017 21:35:49 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Cut large trees/shrubs to maintain or restore disturbance Two studies evaluated the effects, on peatland vegetation, of cutting large trees/shrubs to maintain or restore disturbance. One study was in a forested fen and one was in an open fen. N.B. Cutting large trees/shrubs in peatlands with no history of disturbance is considered as a separate action. Plant community composition (1 study): One before-and-after, site comparison study in a fen in Poland found that in an area where shrubs were removed (along with other interventions), the plant community composition became more like a target fen meadow. Characteristic plants (1 study): One before-and-after, site comparison study in a fen in Poland found that in an area where shrubs were removed (along with other interventions), the abundance of fen meadow plant species increased. Vegetation cover (1 study): One replicated, paired, controlled study in forested fen in the USA found that cutting and removing trees increased herb cover, but had no effect on shrub cover. Vegetation structure (1 study): One replicated, paired, controlled study in a peat swamp in the USA found that cutting and removing trees increased herb biomass and height. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1761https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1761Mon, 27 Nov 2017 21:36:20 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Use prescribed fire to maintain or restore disturbance Three studies evaluated the effects, on peatland vegetation, of using prescribed fire to maintain or restore disturbance. Two studies were in fens and one was in a bog. N.B. Prescribed burning in peatlands with no history of disturbance is considered as a separate action. Characteristic plants (1 study): One replicated before-and-after study in a fen in the UK reported that burning (along with other interventions) had no effect on cover of fen-characteristic mosses or herbs. Herb cover (2 studies): One replicated, controlled study in a fen in the USA reported that burning reduced forb cover and increased sedge/rush cover, but had no effect on grass cover. In contrast, one replicated before-and-after study in a fen in the UK reported that burning (along with other interventions) reduced grass/sedge/rush cover. Tree/shrub cover (2 studies): Two replicated studies in fens in the USA and the UK reported that burning (sometimes along with other interventions) reduced tree/shrub cover. Overall plant richness/diversity (3 studies): Two replicated, controlled studies in a fen in the USA and a bog in New Zealand found that burning increased plant species richness or diversity. However, one replicated before-and-after study in a fen in the UK reported that burning (along with other interventions) typically had no effect on plant species richness and diversity. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1763https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1763Mon, 27 Nov 2017 21:37:27 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Physically remove problematic plants Three studies evaluated the effects on peatland vegetation of removing problematic plants. All three studies were in fens. Characteristic plants (1 study): One replicated, randomized, controlled study in a fen in Ireland reported that cover of fen-characteristic plants increased after mossy vegetation was removed. Herb cover (3 studies): Three replicated, controlled studies in fens in the Netherlands and Ireland reported mixed effects of moss removal on herb cover after 2–5 years. Results varied between species or between sites, and sometimes depended on other treatments applied to plots (i.e. drainage or isolation from the surrounding bog). Moss cover (3 studies): One replicated, randomized, controlled study in a fen in Ireland reported that removing the moss carpet reduced total bryophyte and Sphagnum moss cover for three years. Two replicated, controlled, before-and-after studies in fens in the Netherlands reported that removing the moss carpet had no effect on moss cover (after 2–5 years) in wet plots, but reduced total moss and Sphagnum cover in drained plots. Overall plant richness/diversity (1 study): One replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in a fen in the Netherlands reported that moss removal increased plant species richness, but only in a drained area. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1768https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1768Mon, 27 Nov 2017 21:41:10 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Change season/timing of cutting/mowing Two studies evaluated the effects on peatland vegetation of mowing or cutting in different seasons. One study was in a fen meadow and one was in a peatland with mixed vegetation. Plant community composition (2 studies): One replicated, randomized, paired, before-and after study in a fen meadow in the UK reported that changes in plant community composition were typically similar in spring-, summer- and autumn-mown plots. However, one study in a peatland in the Netherlands reported that summer- and winter-mown areas developed cover of different plant community types. Overall plant richness/diversity (1 study): One replicated, randomized, paired, before-and after study in a fen meadow in the UK found that plant species richness increased more, over two years, in summer-mown plots than spring- or autumn-mown plots. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1771https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1771Mon, 27 Nov 2017 21:42:35 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Use cutting to control problematic large trees/shrubs Two studies evaluated the effects on peatland vegetation of cutting and removing problematic large trees/shrubs. Both studies were in fens. N.B. Cutting trees/shrubs in historically disturbed peatlands is considered as a separate action. Plant community composition (2 studies): Two studies (one replicated, controlled, before-and-after) in fens in the USA and Sweden reported that the plant community composition changed following tree/shrub removal, becoming less like unmanaged fens or more like undegraded, open fen. Characteristic plants (1 study): One study in a fen in Sweden found that species richness and cover of fen-characteristic plants increased following tree/shrub removal. Vegetation cover (2 studies): One study in a fen in Sweden found that moss and vascular plant cover increased following tree/shrub removal. One replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in fens in the USA found that shrub removal (along with other interventions) could not prevent increases in shrub cover over time. Overall plant richness/diversity (2 studies): One study in a fen in Sweden found that moss and vascular plant species richness increased following tree/shrub removal. However, one replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in fens in the USA found that shrub removal (along with other interventions) prevented increases in total plant species richness. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1772https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1772Mon, 27 Nov 2017 21:43:06 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Divert/replace polluted water source(s) Three studies evaluated the effects, on peatland vegetation, of diverting or replacing polluted water source(s). Two studies were in bogs and one was in a fen. Characteristic plants (1 study): One study in a fen in the Netherlands found that after a nutrient-enriched water source was replaced (along with other interventions to reduce pollution), cover of mosses characteristic of low nutrient levels increased. Vegetation cover (2 studies): Two studies (one before-and-after) in bogs in the UK and Japan reported that after polluting water sources were diverted (sometimes along with other interventions), Sphagnum moss cover increased. Both studies reported mixed effects on herb cover, depending on species. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1779https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1779Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:14:06 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Drain/replace acidic water Two studies evaluated the effects on peatland vegetation of draining/replacing acidic surface water. Both studies were in fens. Vegetation cover (2 studies): Two controlled studies in fens in the Netherlands reported that draining acidic water had mixed effects on cover of Sphagnum moss and herbs after 4–5 years, depending on the species and whether moss was also removed. Overall plant richness/diversity (1 study): One controlled, before-and-after study in a fen in the Netherlands reported that draining and replacing acidic water increased plant species richness. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1791https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1791Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:18:46 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Pay landowners to protect peatlands One study evaluated the effects on peatland habitats of paying landowners to protect them. The study was of bogs. Peatland habitat (1 study): One review from reported that agri-environment schemes in the UK had mixed effects on bogs, protecting the area of bog habitat in three of six cases. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1799https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1799Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:27:33 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Increase ‘on-the-ground’ protection (e.g. rangers) One study evaluated the effects on peatland habitats of increasing ‘on-the-ground’ protection. The study was in tropical peat swamps. Behaviour change (1 study): One before-and-after study in a peat swamp forest in Indonesia reported that the number of illegal sawmills decreased over two years of anti-logging patrols. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1800https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1800Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:27:48 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Excavate pools (without planting) Two studies evaluated the effects of excavating pools (without planting) on peatland vegetation. Both studies were based on the same experimental set-up in bogs in Canada. Plant community composition (1 study): One replicated, before-and-after, site comparison study in bogs in Canada reported that excavated pools were colonized by peatland vegetation over 4–6 years, but contained different plant communities to natural pools. In particular, cattail was more common in created pools. Vegetation cover (1 study): One replicated, before-and-after, site comparison study in bogs in Canada reported that after four years, created pools had less cover than natural pools of Sphagnum moss, herbs and shrubs. Overall plant richness/diversity (1 study): One replicated, before-and-after, site comparison study in bogs in Canada reported that after six years, created pools contained a similar number of plant species to natural pools. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1806https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1806Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:30:10 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Reprofile/relandscape peatland (without planting) 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. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1807https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1807Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:30:29 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Disturb peatland surface to encourage growth of desirable plants (without planting) Two studies evaluated the effects of disturbing the peat surface (without planting) on peatland vegetation. Both studies were in fens. Plant community composition (2 studies): Two replicated, paired, controlled, before-and-after studies (one also randomized) in fens in Germany and Sweden reported that soil disturbance affected development of the plant community over 2–3 years. In Germany, disturbed plots developed greater cover of weedy species from the seed bank than undisturbed plots. In Sweden, the community in disturbed and undisturbed plots became less similar over time.  Characteristic plants (2 studies): The same two studies reported that wetland- or fen-characteristic plant species colonized plots that had been disrturbed (along with other interventions). The study in Germany noted that peat-forming species did not colonize the fen. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1811https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1811Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:31:40 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Add inorganic fertilizer (without planting) Three studies evaluated the effects of adding inorganic fertilizer (without planting) on peatland vegetation. Two studies were in bogs and one was in a fen meadow. Vegetation cover (1 study): One replicated, randomized, paired, controlled, before-and-after study in a bog in New Zealand reported that fertilizing typically increased total vegetation cover. Vegetation structure (1 study): One replicated, paired, controlled study in a fen meadow in the Netherlands found that fertilizing with phosphorous typically increased total above-ground vegetation biomass, but other chemicals typically had no effect. Overall plant richness/diversity (1 study): One replicated, randomized, paired, controlled, before-and-after study in a bog in New Zealand reported that fertilizing typically increased plant species richness. Growth (1 study): One replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in a bog in Germany found that fertilizing with phosphorous typically increased herb and shrub growth rate, but other chemicals had no effect. Other (3 studies): Three replicated, controlled studies in a fen meadow in Germany and bogs in Germany and New Zealand reported that effects of fertilizer on peatland were more common when phosphorous was added, than when nitrogen or potassium were added. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1812https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1812Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:37:10 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Cover peatland with organic mulch (without planting) Two studies evaluated the effects, on peatland vegetation, of covering a peatland with organic mulch (without planting). Both studies were in bogs (but in one study, being restored as a fen). Vegetation cover (2 studies): One replicated, randomized, paired, controlled, before-and-after study in a bog in Canada found that covering bare peat with straw mulch did not affect cover of fen-characteristic plants. One replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in a bog in Australia reported that plots mulched with straw had similar Sphagnum moss cover to unmulched plots. Characteristic plants (1 study): One replicated, randomized, paired, controlled, before-and-after study in a bog in Canada found that covering bare peat with straw mulch increased the number of fen characteristic plants present, but did not affect their cover. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1813https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1813Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:38:22 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Cover peatland with something other than mulch (without planting) Two studies evaluated the effects, on peatland vegetation, of covering a peatland with something other than mulch (without planting). Both studies were in bogs. Vegetation cover (2 studies): One replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in a bog in Germany reported that covering bare peat with fleece or fibre mats did not affect the number of seedlings of five herb/shrub species. One replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in bogs in Australia reported that recently-burned plots shaded with plastic mesh developed greater cover of native plants, forbs and Sphagnum moss than unshaded plots. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1814https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1814Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:39:22 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Stabilize peatland surface to help plants colonize One study evaluated the effects of stabilizing the peatland surface (without planting) on peatland vegetation. The study was in a bog. Vegetation cover (1 study): One controlled, before-and-after study in a bog in the UK found that pegging coconut fibre rolls onto almost-bare peat did not affect the development of vegetation cover (total, mosses, shrubs or cottongrasses). Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1815https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1815Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:43:30 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Build artificial bird perches to encourage seed dispersal One study evaluated the effects on peatland vegetation of building artificial bird perches. The study was in a tropical peat swamp. Vegetation cover (1 study): One replicated, paired, controlled study in a peat swamp forest in Indonesia found that artificial bird perches had no significant effect on seedling abundance. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1817https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1817Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:44:19 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Introduce nurse plants (to aid focal peatland plants) Three studies evaluated the effects, on peatland vegetation, of introducing nurse plants to aid focal peatland plants. Two studies were in bogs. One was in a tropical peat swamp. Survival (1 study): One replicated, paired, controlled study in Malaysia reported that planting nurse trees had no effect on survival of planted peat swamp tree seedlings (six species). Cover (2 studies): Two replicated, randomized, paired, controlled, before-and-after studies in bogs in the USA and Canada found that planting nurse herbs had no effect on cover, after 2–3 years, of other planted vegetation (mosses/bryophytes, vascular plants or total cover). Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1830https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1830Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:52:11 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Create mounds or hollows (before planting) Three studies evaluated the effects, on peatland vegetation, of creating peat mounds or hollows before planting peatland plants. Two studies were in bogs. One was in a tropical peat swamp. Growth (1 study): One controlled study in a peat swamp in Thailand reported that trees planted into mounds of peat grew thicker stems than trees planted at ground level. Cover (2 studies): Two replicated, randomized, paired, controlled, before-and-after studies in bogs in Canada found that roughening the peat surface (by harrowing, ploughing, creating vehicle tracks or adding peat blocks) did not significantly affect cover of planted Sphagnum moss after 1–3 growing seasons. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1834https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1834Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:53:57 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Add root-associated fungi to plants (before planting) Three studies evaluated the effects of adding root-associated fungi to planted peatland vegetation. All three studies involved peat swamp tree seedlings: two in the wild and one in a nursery. Survival (2 studies): Two controlled studies (one also replicated, paired, before-and-after) in peat swamps in Indonesia found that adding root fungi did not affect survival of planted red balau or jelutong in all or most cases. However, one fungal treatment increased red balau survival in one study. Growth (3 studies): Two replicated, controlled, before-and-after studies (one also paired) of peat swamp trees in Indonesia found that adding root fungi to seedlings had no effect on growth: for red balau and jelutong or the majority of 15 tested species. However, one controlled study in Indonesia found that adding root fungi increased growth of red balau seedlings. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1841https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1841Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:55:55 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Provide education or training programmes about peatlands or peatland management Two studies evaluated the effects of peatland education/training programmes on knowledge, behaviour, peatland habitats or peatland vegetation. Both studies were in tropical peat swamps. Behaviour change (2 studies): One study in peat swamps in Indonesia reported that over 3,500 households adopted sustainable farming practices following workshops about sustainable farming. One before-and-after study in peat swamps in Indonesia reported that a training course on rubber farming increased the quality of rubber produced by local farmers. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1848https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1848Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:58:47 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Lobby, campaign or demonstrate to protect peatlands Two studies evaluated the effects of lobbying/campaigning/demonstrating for peatland protection on knowledge, behaviour, peatland habitats or peatland vegetation. Both studies reported effects, on unspecified peatlands, of the same campaign in the UK. Peatland protection (2 studies): Two studies in the UK reported that the area of protected peatland increased following pressure from a campaign group. Behaviour change (1 study): One study in the UK reported that following pressure from a campaign group, major retailers stopped buying compost containing peat from important peatland areas and horticultural companies began marketing peat-free compost. Attitudes/awareness (1 study): One study in the UK reported that following campaign pressure, garden centres and local governments signed peatland conservation agreements. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1849https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1849Tue, 28 Nov 2017 10:29:16 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Irrigate peatland (without planting) Two studies evaluated the effects of irrigation (without planting) on peatland vegetation. One study was in a bog and one was in a fen. Vegetation cover (2 studies): One replicated, paired, controlled, before-and-after study in a bog in Canada found that irrigation increased the number of Sphagnum moss shoots present after one growing season, but had no effect after two. One before-and-after study in Germany reported that an irrigated fen was colonized by wetland- and fen-characteristic herbs, whilst cover of dryland grasses decreased. Collected Evidencehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1859https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservationevidence.com%2Factions%2F1859Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:05:17 +0000
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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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