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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The effect of fire on vegetation in a temperate peat bog, Whangamarino wetland, Waikato, New Zealand

Published source details

Norton D.A. & De Lange P.J. (2003) Fire and vegetation in a temperate peat bog: implications for the management of threatened species. Conservation Biology, 17, 138-148


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use prescribed fire to maintain or restore disturbance Peatland Conservation

A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 1994–1998 in a bog in New Zealand (Norton & De Lange 2003) found that burned plots contained a different plant community to unburned plots, with greater plant species richness, diversity and cover. Before intervention, all plots contained a similar overall plant community. After four years, burned and unburned plots contained different communities (data reported as a graphical analysis; difference not tested for statistical significance). Also, burned plots experienced significant increases in foliage cover (from 103% before burning to 171% four years after), plant species richness (from 8 to 14 species/4 m2) and plant diversity (data reported as a diversity index). In unburned plots, these measures declined (cover: from 104 to 100%; richness: from 9 to 6 species/4 m2). In July (winter) 1994, twelve 2 x 2 m plots in a fire-suppressed bog were burned. Twelve control plots remained unburned. Cover of every plant species was recorded in all plots immediately before burning, and at intervals until September 1998.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)