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Volume 8 (2011): Article 5
Re-vegetation of block-cut and milled peatlands: an Estonian example
by T. Triisberg, E. Karofeld and J. Paal
Published online: 30.06.2011
The re-vegetation of mined peatlands after abandonment is often a long-lasting process. The aim of this study was to clarify the factors influencing the re-vegetation of abandoned block-cut, milled and fertilised peat areas in Estonia by investigating and comparing their present vegetation. The analysis is based on 285 quadrat samples where plant species composition and cover were assessed, and the pH and electrical conductivity of bog water were measured. Whereas re-vegetation in the block-cut area was quite fast and progressive, in milled peat areas it was slow and irregular because of the absence of viable propagules and the unfavourable conditions for plant growth. The course of re-vegetation depends considerably upon the peat extraction method, the area and surface microtopography of the mined area, the pH and electrical conductivity of the bog water, and the density at which trees have established on the cutover surface. Plant species richness was most affected by the density of tree saplings, litter cover, former treatment and microtopography. A single application of fertiliser ca 25 years ago did not have a long-term effect on the total number of plant species, but did increase plant cover and the mean number of species per quadrat. On milled peatlands, neither the sowing of Oxycoccus palustris seeds nor the planting of Rubus chamaemorus had the desired effect unless growth conditions for the plants were improved.
Triisberg, T., Karofeld, E. & Paal, J. (2011): Re-vegetation of block-cut and milled peatlands: an Estonian example. Mires and Peat 8: Art. 5. (Online: http://www.mires-and-peat.net/pages/volumes/map08/map0805.php)
IMCG and IPS acknowledge the work of the reviewers.