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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Can restoration of afforested peatland regulate pests and disease?

Published source details

Gilbert L. (2013) Can restoration of afforested peatland regulate pests and disease? Journal of Applied Ecology, 50, 1226-1233


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 replicated site comparison study in 2011 across 21 blanket bogs in Scotland, UK (Gilbert 2013) found that restoration by tree felling and rewetting increased vegetation height and cover of grass-like herbs. After 5–13 years, restored bogs had significantly taller ground vegetation (21 cm) than forested/drained bogs (3 cm) and naturally open bogs (17 cm). Amongst restored sites, vegetation height declined with time since restoration (see original paper for data and statistical model). Restored bogs had significantly greater cover of grass-like herbs than forested/drained sites (mostly bare ground covered in pine needles) and natural bogs (moss-dominated; data and species not reported). In summer 2011, twenty-one bogs were surveyed: eight restored (conifers cut and drainage ditches blocked 5–13 years before surveying, raising the water table “close to the ground surface”), six degraded (conifer-forested/drained) and seven natural (unforested/undrained). In each bog, ground vegetation height (i.e. excluding trees) was measured at 45 points, distributed along fifteen 10 m transects. Details of cover measurements were not reported.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)