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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Reintroduction of Sphagnum to an exploited bog: evaluation of various methods for protection against desiccation

Published source details

Rochefort L. & Bastien D.F. (1998) Reintroduction of Sphagnum to an exploited bog: evaluation of various methods for protection against desiccation. Écoscience, 5, 117-127


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

Irrigate peatland (without planting) Peatland Conservation

A replicated, paired, controlled, before-and-after study in 1993–1994 in a historically mined bog in Quebec, Canada (Rochefort & Bastien 1998) found that irrigated plots contained more Sphagnum moss shoots than unirrigated plots after one growing season, but a similar number of Sphagnum shoots after two. After one growing season there were more Sphagnum shoots in irrigated plots (210 shoots/m2) than plots that were not irrigated (75 shoots/m2). However, after two growing seasons the number of moss shoots did not significantly differ between treatments (irrigated: 80; not irrigated: 50 shoots/m2). In spring 1993, three pairs of plots were established on slightly drained, bare peat. Three plots (one plot/pair) were irrigated during the summer, using sprinklers and water stored on the bog. The other plots were not irrigated. In autumn 1993 and 1994, all Sphagnum shoots were counted in forty 30 x 30 cm quadrats/plot.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)

Irrigate peatland (before/after planting) Peatland Conservation

A replicated, paired, controlled, before-and-after study in 1993–1994 in a historically mined bog in Quebec, Canada (Rochefort & Bastien 1998) found that irrigating plots sown with Sphagnum-dominated vegetation fragments increased the number of Sphagnum moss shoots present. The effect was biggest after one growing season (irrigated: 250–630 shoots/m2; not irrigated: 60–310 shoots/m2) but persisted after two growing seasons (irrigated: 95–770 shoots/m2; not irrigated: 50–390 shoots/m2). Irrigation also increased the number of Sphagnum shoots in additional plots that were not sown (see intervention Irrigate peatland). In spring 1993, three pairs of plots were established on slightly drained, bare peat. Sections of each plot were sown with vegetation fragments, dominated by one of three Sphagnum moss species (250 fragments/m2). Three plots (one plot/pair) were irrigated during the summer, using sprinklers and water stored on the bog. The other plots were not irrigated. In autumn 1993 and 1994, all Sphagnum shoots were counted in forty 30 x 30 cm quadrats/plot. 

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)

Cover peatland with something other than mulch (after planting) Peatland Conservation

A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled, before-and-after study in 1993–1994 in a historically mined bog in Quebec, Canada (Rochefort & Bastien 1998) found that amongst plots sown with Sphagnum-dominated vegetation fragments, those shaded with plastic mesh contained more Sphagnum moss shoots than those covered with transparent plastic sheets or not covered. After two growing seasons, there were significantly more Sphagnum shoots in plots covered with plastic mesh (140–510/m2) than plots covered with plastic sheets (10–30/m2) or uncovered plots (65–70/m2). Further, the number of Sphagnum shoots increased over the second growing season in shaded plots, but decreased in the other plots. Covers had a similar effect on all focal Sphagnum species. In spring 1993, twelve plots (three blocks of four) of slightly drained bare peat were sown with vegetation fragments (mostly Sphagnum moss; 250 fragments/m2). In each plot, subplots received fragments dominated by one of five single Sphagnum species. Three plots (one random plot/block) received each cover treatment: no cover, AgrinetTM 40% plastic mesh, AgrinetTM 60% plastic mesh, or a transparent polythene sheet (with 3 cm diameter holes cut 30 cm apart). Covers were 15–20 cm above the bog surface. In autumn 1993 and 1994, Sphagnum shoots were counted in ten 30 x 30 cm quadrats/plot.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)

Add mixed vegetation to peatland surface Peatland Conservation

A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled, before-and-after study in 1993–1994 in a historically mined bog in Quebec, Canada (Rochefort & Bastien 1998) found that plots sown with Sphagnum-dominated vegetation fragments contained more Sphagnum moss shoots than unsown plots. This was true for all five focal Sphagnum species after one growing season (sown: 20–420; not sown: 17–90 shoots/m2) and after two growing seasons (sown: 65–450; not sown: 25–60 shoots/m2). These results are not based on tests of statistical significance. In spring 1993, fresh vegetation fragments (mostly Sphagnum moss) from the surface of a natural bog were added to slightly drained, bare peat plots (250 fragments/m2). Twelve plots were sown with fragments dominated by each of five Sphagnum species (one random plot in each of 12 blocks). Blocks grouped plots by moisture and cover treatment (none, polythene sheet or shade screen). Twelve control plots were not sown. In autumn 1993 and 1994, all Sphagnum shoots were counted in two 30 x 30 cm quadrats/plot.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)

Add mixed vegetation to peatland surface Peatland Conservation

A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled, before-and-after study in 1993–1994 in a historically mined bog in Quebec, Canada (Rochefort & Bastien 1998) reported that plots sown with Sphagnum-dominated vegetation fragments typically contained more Sphagnum moss shoots, after two growing seasons, than unsown plots. These results are not based on tests of statistical significance. Plots sown with fragments dominated by fine bog moss Sphagnum angustifolium or Magellan’s bog moss Sphagnum magellanicum contained more Sphagnum shoots than unsown plots, whether irrigated or not (sown: 85–770; not sown: 50–80 shoots/m2). Plots sown with fragments dominated by rusty bog moss Sphagnum fuscum contained more Sphagnum shoots than unsown plots only when irrigated (sown: 95; not sown: 80 shoots/m2). Results after one growing season showed similar patterns. In spring 1993, fresh vegetation fragments (mostly Sphagnum moss) were added to slightly drained, bare peat plots (250 fragments/m2). Six plots received fragments dominated by each of three Sphagnum species (one random plot in each of six blocks). Six control plots received no fragments. Three blocks were irrigated. In autumn 1993 and 1994, all Sphagnum shoots were counted in ten 30 x 30 cm quadrats/plot.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)