Sphagnum establishment on bare peat: the importance of climatic variability and Sphagnum species richness

  • Published source details Chirino C., Campeau S. & Rochefort L. (2006) Sphagnum establishment on bare peat: the importance of climatic variability and Sphagnum species richness. Applied Vegetation Science, 9, 285-294.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Add mixed vegetation to peatland surface

Action Link
Peatland Conservation
  1. Add mixed vegetation to peatland surface

    A replicated, randomized, paired, before-and-after study in 1995–2001 in a historically mined bog in Quebec, Canada (Chirino et al. 2006) reported that plots sown with Sphagnum-dominated vegetation fragments (and rewetted and mulched) developed Sphagnum cover. Before sowing, plots were bare peat. After four growing seasons, Sphagnum cover was 23–48%. Plots sown with vegetation dominated by rusty bog moss Sphagnum fuscum had significantly greater Sphagnum cover (48%) than plots sown with vegetation dominated by three other single species (red bog moss Sphagnum rubellum 34%; fine bog moss Sphagnum angustifolium: 30%; Magellan’s bog moss Sphagnum magellanicum: 23%). Overall, there was no significant difference in Sphagnum cover between plots sown with single species (23–48%) or mixed species (32–40%). Each spring between 1995 and 1998, forty-five 30 m2 plots were established (in five blocks of nine) on bare rewetted peat. Within each block, four random plots were sown with vegetation dominated by a single Sphagnum species and five were sown with vegetation containing a mixture of 2–4 species. All plots were then mulched with straw. Sphagnum cover was visually estimated each autumn, for four years after sowing.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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