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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The contribution of rewetting to vegetation restoration of degraded peat meadows

Published source details

van Dijk J., Stroetenga M., van Bodegom P.M. & Aerts R. (2007) The contribution of rewetting to vegetation restoration of degraded peat meadows. Applied Vegetation Science, 10, 315-324


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

Rewet peatland (raise water table) Peatland Conservation

A replicated site comparison study in 2002 across five fen meadows in the Netherlands (van Dijk et al. 2007) found that rewetting had scale-dependent effects on plant species richness and diversity, and mixed effects on fen-characteristic species. At the site scale, rewetted meadows contained fewer plant species after four years than meadows that remained drained (25 vs 30 species/meadow). However, at the quadrat scale, rewetted meadows had significantly higher species richness than drained meadows (9 vs 7 species/m2) and significantly higher diversity (data reported as a diversity index). Other reported data (not statistically tested) included abundance of sedges Carex spp. (rewetted: in 3–18% of quadrats; drained: in 10% of quadrats), abundance of common reed Phragmites australis (rewetted: 3%; drained: 0%) and number of fen-characteristic species (rewetted: 11/meadow; drained: 15/meadow). In 1998, four fen meadows were rewetted by isolating them from their drainage systems. A reference meadow remained drained. In spring 2002, vegetation cover was visually estimated in ten 1 m2 quadrats/meadow. The water table was 20–30 cm below the peat surface in the rewetted meadows and 45 cm below the surface in the drained meadow.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)