Managing wetland plant populations: lessons learned in Europe may apply to North American fens

  • Published source details Scanga S.E. & Leopold D.J. (2012) Managing wetland plant populations: lessons learned in Europe may apply to North American fens. Biological Conservation, 148, 69-78.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cut large trees/shrubs to maintain or restore disturbance

Action Link
Peatland Conservation
  1. Cut large trees/shrubs to maintain or restore disturbance

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 2002–2007 in a forested fen in New York State, USA (Scanga & Leopold 2012) found that in areas where trees were felled and removed, herb cover, height and biomass were greater than in adjacent forested areas, whilst shrub cover was similar. After 4–5 years, cleared areas had greater cover than adjacent forested areas of forbs (66 vs 44%) and sedges (9 vs 3%). There was a similar, but non-significant, trend for cover of grass-like plants overall (cleared: 50%; forested: 34%) and ferns (cleared: 17%; forested: 9%). Shrub cover did not significantly differ between areas (cleared: 9%; forested: 10%). In cleared areas, herbs were taller overall (cleared: 44; forested: 25 cm) and produced more biomass (cleared: 68; forested: 21 g/0.25 m2). In spring 2002 and 2003, all trees were cut and removed from 11 circular areas (5 m radius) in a forested fen. This mimicked historical human disturbance. For each cleared area, a forested area <40 m away provided a control. In August 2007, vegetation was surveyed in each area within nine 0.25 m2 quadrats.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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