Is rewetting enough to recover Sphagnum and associated peat-accumulating species in traditionally exploited bogs?

  • Published source details González E., Henstra S.W., Rochefort L., Bradfield G.E. & Poulin M. (2014) Is rewetting enough to recover Sphagnum and associated peat-accumulating species in traditionally exploited bogs?. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 22, 49-62.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Rewet peatland (raise water table)

Action Link
Peatland Conservation
  1. Rewet peatland (raise water table)

    A replicated, paired, site comparison study in 1993–2010 in three historically mined bogs in Quebec, Canada (González et al. 2014) found that rewetted areas typically had similar moss, herb and tree cover to areas that remained drained, but less shrub cover. In most cases, there was no difference between areas rewetted for 4–17 years and areas that remained drained, for Sphagnum moss cover (17 of 24 comparisons; rewetted: 0–21%; drained: 0–26%), other moss cover (8 of 15 comparisons; rewetted: 0–19%; drained: 0–31%), herb cover (8 of 12 comparisons; rewetted: 0–42%; drained: 0–24%) and tree cover (11 of 12 comparisons; rewetted: 0–8%; drained: 1–17%). However, in most cases shrub cover was lower in rewetted areas (11 of 21 comparisons; rewetted: 0–49%; drained: 1–71%). In the remaining comparisons, rewetted plots had greater Sphagnum and herb cover, lower tree cover, greater or lower moss cover, and similar shrub cover. Between 1993 and 2006, parts of three bogs were rewetted by blocking drainage ditches (water table 7–44 cm above peat surface during summer). Each bog also contained areas that remained drained (ditches not blocked; water table 2–8 cm above surface). In 2010, in each rewetted and drained area, all plant species touching 400–1,800 evenly spaced points were recorded.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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