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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Comparing survey methods for monitoring vegetation change through time in a restored peatland

Published source details

Rochefort L., Isselin-Nondedeu F., Boudreau S. & Poulin M. (2013) Comparing survey methods for monitoring vegetation change through time in a restored peatland. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 21, 71-85

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

Restore/create peatland vegetation using the moss layer transfer technique Peatland Conservation

A controlled, before-and-after study in 1999–2007 in a historically mined bog in Quebec, Canada (Rochefort et al. 2013) reported that an area restored using the moss layer transfer technique had greater cover of bryophytes and herbs, and lower tree/shrub cover, than an unrestored area. These results were not tested for statistical significance. After eight years, the restored area had total bryophyte cover of 79% (vs 19% in the unrestored area), Sphagnum moss cover of 60% (unrestored: 0%), total herb cover of 76% (unrestored: 18%) and sheathed cottongrass Eriophorum vaginatum cover of 50% (unrestored: 5%). In contrast, the restored area had only 5% tree/shrub cover, compared to 23% in the unrestored area. Before restoration, vegetation cover was low (e.g. bryophytes <15%, herbs <20%) and similar across areas later restored and unrestored. In 1999, 8.4 ha of historically mined bog were restored by levelling, rewetting (building embankments and blocking drainage ditches), adding Sphagnum-dominated vegetation fragments and mulching with straw. Fertilizer was added the following summer. In the same peatland, 3.1 ha were not restored. In July 1999 (before restoration) and biannually between 2001 and 2007, plant species were recorded at approximately 5,700 points across the bog. Similar results were obtained when cover was visually estimated in forty-three 3 x 8 m quadrats. This study was based on the same experimental set-up as (1) and (2).

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)