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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Factors affecting re-vegetation dynamics of experimentally restored extracted peatland in Estonia

Published source details

Karofeld E., Müür M. & Vellak K. (2016) Factors affecting re-vegetation dynamics of experimentally restored extracted peatland in Estonia. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 23, 13706-13717


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 controlled study in 2012–2014 in a historically mined bog in Estonia (Karofeld et al. 2016) found that reprofiling peat before sowing vegetation fragments did not significantly affect vegetation cover, with the exception of some Sphagnum moss species. After 1–2 years, plots with and without reprofiling had similar cover of vascular plants (23 vs 24%), total bryophytes (57 vs 50%) and Sphagnum moss (54 vs 47%; not statistically tested). However, the reprofiled plot had significantly greater cover of rusty bog moss Sphagnum fuscum (31 vs 21%) and significantly less cover of red bog moss Sphagnum rubellum (11 vs 17%). Sheathed cottongrass Eriophorum vaginatum and sedge Carex sp. were present at low cover (<1%) in both plots. In spring 2012, one of two adjacent bare peat plots was reprofiled (top 20 cm of peat pushed into ridges around the plot). Both plots were rewetted (drainage ditch blocked), sown with vegetation fragments from a nearby bog and mulched with straw. In June and September 2013 and 2014, vegetation cover was estimated in ten 50 x 50 cm quadrats/plot.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)

Restore/create peatland vegetation (multiple interventions) Peatland Conservation

A replicated, controlled, site comparison study in 2012–2014 in a historically mined bog in Estonia (Karofeld et al. 2016) found that restoration by multiple interventions increased cover of bryophytes and vascular plants, and created a plant community more like the natural donor bog. After 1–2 years, restored plots had greater cover than an unrestored plot of all bryophytes combined (52–65% vs <1%), Sphagnum mosses (50–54% vs <1%) and vascular plants (17–23% vs 11%). Sheathed cottongrass Eriophorum vaginatum and sedge Carex sp. were present in at least one restored plot (cover <1%), but not in the unrestored plot. After two years, the overall plant community in restored plots was 40–67% similar to the unmined donor bog, compared to 21–29% similarity between the unrestored plot and donor bog. In spring 2012, three plots of almost-bare peat were restored by reprofiling (top 20 cm of peat pushed into ridges around the plot), rewetting (blocking a drainage ditch), adding plant fragments (mostly Sphagnum mosses) from the surface of a nearby bog and mulching with straw. One adjacent plot received no intervention. In June and September 2013 and 2014, vegetation cover was estimated in ten 50 x 50 cm quadrats in each plot and the donor bog.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)

Add mixed vegetation to peatland surface Peatland Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 2012–2014 in a historically mined bog in Estonia (Karofeld et al. 2016) found that plots sown with vegetation fragments developed greater cover of bryophytes and vascular plants than an unsown plot, and had plant communities more like the donor bog. After 1–2 years, sown plots had greater cover than an unsown plot of total bryophytes (52–65% vs 5%), Sphagnum mosses (50–54% vs 2%) and vascular plants (17–21% vs 12%). Sheathed cottongrass Eriophorum vaginatum and sedge Carex sp. were present in at least one sown plot (cover <1%), but not in the unsown plot. After two years, the overall plant community in sown plots was 40–67% similar to the donor bog, compared to 28–45% similarity between the unsown plot and donor bog. In spring 2012, three plots were sown with plant fragments (mostly Sphagnum mosses) from the surface of a nearby bog. One additional plot was not sown. All plots had been reprofiled (top 20 cm of peat pushed into ridges around the plot) and rewetted and were mulched with straw. In June and September 2013 and 2014, vegetation cover was estimated in ten 50 x 50 cm quadrats/plot.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)