|Characteristics of Eastern Canadian cultivated Sphagnum and potential use as a substitute for perlite and vermiculite in peat-based horticultural substrates.||downloads: 722 | type: pdf | size: 1 MB|
Volume 16 (2015) Article 3
Characteristics of Eastern Canadian cultivated Sphagnum and potential use as a substitute for perlite and vermiculite in peat-based horticultural substrates
by M. Aubé, M. Quenum and L.L. Ranasinghe
Published online: 01.03.2015
Sphagnum cultivation on harvested peatlands to meet wetland restoration objectives could be an economically feasible activity since cultivated Sphagnum has potential horticultural applications. We compared the characteristics of cultivated Sphagnum from Shippagan (Canada) with those of non-cultivated Sphagnum products from Chile, New Zealand and Canada, and assessed its potential as a perlite and vermiculite substitute in horticultural peat-based substrates. Shippagan cultivated Sphagnum was shorter than the Chilean and New Zealand products with which it was compared, yet more similar to them than to the Canadian product currently on the market. Laboratory tests on physical properties and greenhouse growth trials indicated that 50–100 % of the perlite or vermiculite of a peat-based substrate can be successfully replaced with cultivated Sphagnum. Non-sieved coarsely shredded Sphagnum or the large (> 6.3 mm) fragments of sieved coarsely shredded Sphagnum best replicated the aeration provided by perlite and vermiculite in the substrates that were tested. Decomposition tests and comparisons of changes in physical properties of substrates containing Sphagnum after six weeks of growth trials indicated that Sphagnum degradation leading to reduced substrate performance is not likely to be an issue. Therefore, cultivated Sphagnum has great potential as a substitute for perlite and vermiculite.
Aubé, M., Quenum, M. & Ranasinghe, L.L. (2015): Characteristics of Eastern Canadian cultivated Sphagnum and potential use as a substitute for perlite and vermiculite in peat-based horticultural substrates. Mires and Peat 16: Art. 3. (Online: http://www.mires-and-peat.net/pages/volumes/map16/map1603.php)
IMCG and IPS acknowledge the work of the reviewers.