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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Rehabilitation of vegetation of cutaway Atlantic blanket bog through rewetting, Bellacorick, County Mayo, Ireland

Published source details

Farrell C.A. & Doyle G.J. (2003) Rehabilitation of industrial cutaway Atlantic blanket bog in County Mayo, North-West Ireland. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 11, 21-35


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 controlled before-and-after study in 1997–1999 in a historically mined blanket bog in Ireland (Farrell & Doyle 2003) reported that after rewetting, cover of total vegetation, algae, Sphagnum moss and common cottongrass Eriophorum angustifolium all increased, but cover of other bryophytes decreased. No statistical tests were carried out. Total vegetation cover was 40% before rewetting and 93% two years after. Cover of algae was 10% before and 92% after, Sphagnum <1% before and 31% after, other bryophytes 12% before and 1% after, and cottongrass 18% before and 24% after. In control plots that remained drained, cover values remained stable over time (total: 54–56%; algae: 21%; Sphagnum: 0%; other bryophytes: 26%; cottongrass: 31–32%). In August 1997, a 1 m high peat ridge was built around a drained bog to retain water (water table raised to 10–42 cm above peat surface). An adjacent bog remained drained for comparison (water table 0–12 cm below surface). In August 1997 (before intervention) and 1999, vegetation cover was estimated in nine equally sized quadrats/bog.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)