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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Establishing trees on cut-over peatlands in eastern Canada

Published source details

Bussières J., Boudreau S. & Rochefort L. (2008) Establishing trees on cut-over peatlands in eastern Canada. Mires and Peat, 3, 10


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

Directly plant peatland trees/shrubs Peatland Conservation

A replicated study in 1990–2002 in four historically mined bogs in eastern Canada (Bussières et al. 2008) reported that 9–100% of planted tree saplings survived over 1–13 years. Five species were planted. Jack pine Pinus banksiana survival was 100% after two years. Tamarack Larix laricina survival was 52–100% over 1–9 years. Black spruce Picea mariana survival was 65–94% over 1–13 years. Red maple Acer rubrum survival was 72% after three years. Poplar Populus spp. survival was 9% after three years. Between 1990 and 2001, tree saplings were planted into bare peat, in single species blocks (1,600–2,500 stems/ha), in up to four separate bogs. Additional management (e.g. soil preparation, fertilization, planting density) differed between sites (see original paper). In 2002, survival of saplings (18–360/species/bog) was recorded in quadrats distributed evenly across the planted blocks.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)

Add inorganic fertilizer (before/after planting) Peatland Conservation

A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 1990–2002 in a historically mined bog in Quebec, Canada (Bussières et al. 2008) found that fertilization reduced survival of one planted tree species (no effect on three others) but increased growth of one species (no effect on one other). After three growing seasons, fertilized black spruce Picea mariana saplings had lower survival rates (24–65%) than unfertilized saplings (75%). Fertilization did not significantly affect survival of tamarack Larix laricina, red maple Acer rubrum or poplar Populus spp. (fertilized: 1–76%; unfertilized: 16–85%). In the third growing season, tamarack grew more with a low fertilizer dose (shoot length 59–65 cm) than a high dose (46 cm) or no fertilizer (39 cm). Fertilizer did not affect growth of black spruce. In early summer 2000, seedlings of each tree species were planted into bare, slightly drained peat. There were 2–7 single-species blocks/species. Within each block there were three fertilized plots (mixture of N, P and K compounds; 122.5 g/plant, 245 g/plant or 490 g/plant) and one unfertilized plot. In August 2002, seedling survival was assessed. Terminal shoot length was measured for nine trees (across three evenly spaced quadrats) in each plot.