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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Ecosystem service restoration after 10 years of rewetting peatlands in NE Germany

Published source details

Zerbe S., Steffenhagen P., Parakenings K., Timmermann T., Frick A., Gelbrecht J. & Zak D. (2013) Ecosystem service restoration after 10 years of rewetting peatlands in NE Germany. Environmental Management, 51, 1194-1209


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 before-and-after study in 2007–2008 in 23 degraded fens in Germany (Zerbe et al. 2013) reported changes in the cover of plant community types following rewetting. These results were not tested for statistical significance. Before rewetting, all sites were dry grassland (precise cover not reported). After rewetting, the fens remained dominated by grasses (most common vegetation type in all 23 fens; overall cover 48%) but cover of other plant groups had increased, including trees/shrubs (in 23 fens; overall cover 13%), common reed Phragmites australis (in 22 fens; overall cover 5%), cattail Typha latifolia (in 23 fens; overall cover 4%) and sedges Carex spp. (in 23 fens; overall cover 2%). Between 1995 and 2008, the 23 drained fens were rewetted by stopping their pump drainage systems (water table raised to 20–50 cm above peat surface). In 2007 and 2008, cover of vegetation groups was recorded in field surveys and/or from satellite images.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)