Restoration of managed pine fens: effect on hydrology and vegetation

  • Published source details Laine A.M., Leppälä M., Tarvainen O., Päätalo M.L., Seppänen R. & Tolvanen A. (2011) Restoration of managed pine fens: effect on hydrology and vegetation. Applied Vegetation Science, 14, 340-349.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cut/remove/thin forest plantations and rewet peat

Action Link
Peatland Conservation
  1. Cut/remove/thin forest plantations and rewet peat

    A replicated, before-and-after, site comparison study in 2006–2009 in 19 forested fens in Finland (Laine et al. 2011) found that restoration by tree thinning and rewetting did not affect the overall plant community, the number of plant species or cover of individual plant groups – except cottongrasses/sedges. The overall composition of the plant community was similar before restoration and 18 months after, and was similar in restored and natural fens (data reported as a graphical analysis). After 18 months, restored fens contained 44 plant species in total (vs 45 before restoration and 49 in natural fens). These results were not tested for statistical significance. Although cover of some plant groups changed significantly in restored fens (shrub cover from 33 to 42%; forb cover from 8 to 11%; cottongrass/sedge cover from 8 to 10%; Sphagnum moss cover from 64 to 55%; forest moss cover from 21 to 17%), the changes were mirrored in natural fens (with the exception of cottongrass/sedge cover, which decreased from 13 to 8%). In late 2007, eleven drained, densely forested fens were restored by filling drainage ditches (water table 8–16 cm below peat surface during summer) and thinning trees (from 940 to 317 stems/ha). Comparisons were made with eight nearby natural fens (water table 8–17 cm below surface; 373 trees/ha). In July 2006 and 2009, cover of every plant species was estimated in approximately twelve 1 m2 quadrats/fen.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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