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: On the use of shallow basins to restore cutover peatlands: plant establishment

Published source details

Campeau S., Rochefort L. & Price J.S. (2004) On the use of shallow basins to restore cutover peatlands: plant establishment. Restoration Ecology, 12, 471-482


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

Reprofile/relandscape peatland (before planting) Peatland Conservation

A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 1996–1999 in a historically mined bog in Quebec, Canada (Campeau et al. 2004) found that reprofiling plots into basins, before sowing Sphagnum moss, increased Sphagnum cover. After four growing seasons, basins contained greater cover of all three sown Sphagnum species (56–62%) than raised plots (8–23%). Reprofiling had no effect on vascular plant cover (5% in basins and raised plots). In spring 1996, four 8 x 12 m plots were reprofiled into basins by pushing 20–25 cm of peat into ridges around each plot. Four plots were not reprofiled (remained raised). In May 1996, freshly collected Sphagnum fragments were sown onto all eight bare peat plots. Equally sized areas of each plot were sown with rusty bog moss Sphagnum fuscum, Magellanic bog moss Sphagnum magellanicum or red bog moss Sphagnum rubellum. All plots were mulched with straw after sowing. In autumn 1999, vegetation cover was visually estimated in 72 quadrats, each 25 x 25 cm, across each plot.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)

Reprofile/relandscape peatland (before planting) Peatland Conservation

A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 1996–1998 in a historically mined raised bog in Quebec, Canada (Campeau et al. 2004) found that reprofiling plots into basins, before sowing vegetation fragments, increased Sphagnum moss cover but had no effect on cover of other mosses or vascular plants. After three growing seasons, reprofiled plots had greater cover of both recorded Sphagnum species (41–52%) than raised plots (17–19%), but similar cover of other mosses (excavated: 2%; not excavated: 2%) and vascular plants (excavated: 4%; not excavated: 2%). In May 1996, freshly collected vegetation fragments were spread by hand onto 14 bare peat plots. Ten plots had been reprofiled into basins (4–20 m wide) bordered by peat ridges (30–60 cm high). Four 15 x 15 m plots were not reprofiled (remained raised). Vegetation fragments dominated by either rusty bog moss Sphagnum fuscum or red bog moss Sphagnum rubellum were sown in separate strips within each plot. All plots were mulched with straw after sowing. In autumn 1998, vegetation cover was visually estimated in 12–30 quadrats, each 25 x 25 cm, across each plot.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)

Add mixed vegetation to peatland surface Peatland Conservation

A replicated before-and-after study in 1996–1999 in a historically mined raised bog in Quebec, Canada (Campeau et al. 2004) reported that plots sown with Sphagnum-dominated vegetation fragments (then mulched) developed cover of Sphagnum and vascular plants. Before sowing, plots were bare peat. After four growing seasons, Sphagnum cover was 8–62% and vascular plant cover 5%. Additionally, plots reprofiled into basins before sowing had significantly greater Sphagnum cover (56–62%) than plots that remained at surface level (8–23%). Vascular plant cover did not differ between reprofiled and surface-level plots. In May 1996, freshly collected vegetation fragments (mostly Sphagnum moss) were sown onto eight 8 x 12 m plots. Four of these plots had been reprofiled (20–25 cm depth of peat pushed into ridges around the plot). Equally sized areas of each plot were sown with vegetation dominated by rusty bog moss Sphagnum fuscum, Magellanic bog moss Sphagnum magellanicum or red bog moss Sphagnum rubellum. All plots were mulched with straw after sowing. In autumn 1999, vegetation cover was estimated in 72 quadrats, each 25 x 25 cm, across each plot.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)

Add mixed vegetation to peatland surface Peatland Conservation

A replicated before-and-after study in 1996–1999 in a historically mined raised bog in Quebec, Canada (Campeau et al. 2004) reported that plots sown with vegetation fragments (some also reprofiled) developed cover of mosses and vascular plants. Before sowing, plots were bare peat. After four growing seasons, Sphagnum moss cover was 17–52%, other moss cover 2% and vascular plant cover 2–4%. Plots that had been reprofiled into basins before sowing had significantly greater Sphagnum cover (41–52%) than plots that remained at surface level (17–19%), but similar cover of other mosses and vascular plants. In May 1996, freshly collected vegetation fragments were spread by hand onto 14 plots. The fragments were mainly rusty bog moss Sphagnum fuscum or red bog moss Sphagnum rubellum but contained seeds and fragments of other plants. Four plots (15 x 15 m) were at surface level, whilst ten plots had been reprofiled into depressions (4–20 m wide) bordered by peat ridges (30–60 cm high). All plots were mulched with straw after sowing. In autumn 1998, vegetation cover was visually estimated in 12–30 quadrats, each 25 x 25 cm, across each plot.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)