Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Initial effects on vegetation change and CO2 balance of rewetting a bog and a fen in southern Finland

Published source details

Komulainen V., Tuittila E., Vasander H. & Laine J. (1999) Restoration of drained peatlands in southern Finland: initial effects on vegetation change and CO2 balance. Journal of Applied Ecology, 36, 634-648


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

Cut/remove/thin forest plantations and rewet peat Peatland Conservation

A controlled, before-and-after study in 1994–1996 in a fen in Finland (Komulainen et al. 1999) reported that clear-cut and rewetted plots had greater cover of cottongrass Eriophorum vaginatum than plots that remained forested and drained. This was true after one year (clear-cut/rewetted: 5–80%; forested/drained: 1–20% cover) and after two years (clear-cut/rewetted: 20–90%; forested/drained: 1–40% cover). These results were not tested for statistical significance. Before intervention, cottongrass cover was 1% in eight of nine monitored plots (20% in the other). In February 1995, one area of a drained, tree-colonized fen was restored: trees were felled and removed, drainage ditches were filled or blocked, and an additional input ditch was excavated above the fen. In the restored area, the water table was 5–45 cm below the peat surface (during summer). The rest of the fen was left forested and drained (water table 20–65 cm below surface). Vegetation cover was visually estimated in 1994, 1995 and 1996, in six 60 x 60 cm plots in the clear-cut/rewetted area and three plots outside.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)