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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Restoration approaches used for degraded peatlands in on the Tibetan Plateau, China

Published source details

Zhang X., Hongyu L., Baker C. & Graham S. (2012) Restoration approaches used for degraded peatlands in Ruoergai (Zoige), Tibetan Plateau, China, for sustainable land management. Ecological Engineering, 38, 86-92


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

Introduce seeds of peatland herbs Peatland Conservation

A before-and-after study in historically mined peatland in China (Zhang et al. 2012) reported that an area sown with seeds (also rewetted and fenced to exclude livestock) developed cover of grasses and wetland-characteristic herbs. No statistical tests were carried out. Before restoration, the peatland was largely bare peat with some sedges Carex spp. and herbs characteristic of drier soils (precise cover not reported). After restoration, new wetland-characteristic species had colonized, including rush Blysmus sinocompressus (30% cover) and marsh marigold Caltha scaposa (2% cover). Also abundant were tussock grass Deschampsia cespitosa (20% cover) and couch grass Elymus nutans (10% cover). Forty-two hectares of Hongyuan peatland were sown with seeds of five plant species (50 kg; mainly couch grass, other species not reported). The peatland was historically mined, drained and grazed. The study does not distinguish between the effects of these interventions. Vegetation cover was visually estimated (precise methods and dates not reported).

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)

Rewet peatland (raise water table) Peatland Conservation

A before-and-after study in degraded peatland in China (Zhang et al. 2012) reported that following rewetting, cover of wetland-characteristic plants developed. No statistical tests were carried out. Before rewetting, wetland-characteristic plants were confined to drainage ditches (precise cover not reported). After rewetting, wetland-characteristic plants were observed across the peatland. Dominant plants in each part of the peatland were spikesedge Heleocharis valleculosa (80% cover), sedge Carex muliensis (60–70% cover) and Kneiff’s feather moss Leptodictyum riparium (15–80% cover). The blocked drainage ditches were dominated by floating bur-reed Sparganium angustifolium (30% cover). Within the drained and grazed Riganqiao peatland, two drainage ditches were blocked with 12 wooden dams. The water table rose above the peat surface in most areas. After rewetting, vegetation cover was visually estimated in five areas of the peatland (precise methods and dates not reported).

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)

Rewet peatland (raise water table) Peatland Conservation

A study in a degraded peatland in China (Zhang et al. 2012) reported that following rewetting, the peatland was colonized by wetland-characteristic plants. No statistical tests were carried out. Wetland-characteristic plants were observed across the rewetted peatland. Dominant plants in different parts of the peatland included sedges Kobresia capillifolia (10–60% cover) and Carex pamirensis (50% cover), rush Blysmus sinocompressus (20% cover) and marsh arrowgrass Triglochin palustre (15% cover). In 2004, the main drainage ditch in Dazhasi peatland was blocked with 19 sandbag dams, raising the water table. The dams failed over winter but were rebuilt each spring. After rewetting (year not reported), vegetation cover was visually estimated in five 4–100 m2 areas of the peatland.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)