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Volume 18 (2016) Article 06
Spontaneous revegetation of cutaway fens: can it result in valuable habitats?
by A. Priede, A. Mežaka, L. Dobkeviča and L. Grīnberga
Published online: 08.03.2016
Studies of spontaneous revegetation in cutaway peatlands with residual fen peat are relatively scarce in Europe. However, knowledge about the spontaneous recovery of vegetation and factors affecting the succession can be applied in wetland restoration and conservation of valuable, threatened habitats and species populations. We analysed spontaneous revegetation and influencing factors in six cutaway fens in Latvia. The results suggest that the major drivers affecting the composition of vegetation in the study sites are water table, soil water pH and time since peat harvesting ceased. Water table is the major variable that distinguishes success from failure in terms of fen recovery, while pH differentiates the outcome: poor fen and rich fen vegetation, together with age, define the ‘typicalness’ of the plant community. In alkaline conditions the sites can host numerous rare and specialist species. The outcome of self-restoration is site-specific, making the results difficult to generalise.
Priede, A., Mežaka, A., Dobkeviča, L. & Grīnberga, L. (2016): Spontaneous revegetation of cutaway fens: can it result in valuable habitats? Mires and Peat 18: Art. 06. (Online: http://www.mires-and-peat.net/pages/volumes/map18/map1806.php); 10.19189/MaP.2016.OMB.220
IMCG and IPS acknowledge the work of the reviewers.