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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Development of Sphagnum fallax on bare peat and implications for the restoration of cut-over bogs, Swiss Jura, Switzerland

Published source details

Buttler A., Grosvernier P. & Matthey Y. (1998) Development of Sphagnum fallax diaspores on bare peat with implications for the restoration of cut-over bogs. Journal of Applied Ecology, 35, 800-810


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

Cover peatland with something other than mulch (after planting) Peatland Conservation

A replicated, randomized, controlled, before-and-after study in a greenhouse in Switzerland (Buttler et al. 1998) found that planted Sphagnum moss grew longer, thinner shoots in pots covered with plastic sheets or mesh than in uncovered pots. Over 16 weeks, Sphagnum increased in length significantly more in covered pots (plastic sheet: <10–90 mm; plastic mesh: 6–68 mm; uncovered: 3–46 mm increase). However, neither cover significantly affected Sphagnum mass growth (sheet: 0.8–5.5; mesh: 0.1–2.2; uncovered: 0.3–4.2 proportional increase). In May (year not reported), 90 pots of peat were planted with flat-topped bog moss Sphagnum fallax: twelve 3 cm fragments/pot. Thirty pots were then covered with clear green plastic (with 1 cm diameter holes covering about 5% of the surface area), 30 were shaded with plastic mesh (blocking 80% of incoming light), and 30 left uncovered. All pots were kept in random positions in a greenhouse with controlled temperature, humidity, light and water. After 16 weeks, length and dry mass of all moss fragments were measured.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)