|Establishing Sphagnum cultures on bog grassland, cut-over bogs, and floating mats: procedures, costs and area potential in Germany||downloads: 38 | type: pdf | size: 711 kB|
Volume 20 Special Volume: Growing Sphagnum (2017) Article 3
Establishing Sphagnum cultures on bog grassland, cut-over bogs, and floating mats: procedures, costs and area potential in Germany
by S. Wichmann, A. Prager and G. Gaudig
Published online: 20.04.2017
Sphagnum biomass is valued as a high-quality constituent of horticultural growing media. The cultivation of Sphagnum (peatmoss) was tested successfully on peat soil and on artificial mats floating on acidic water bodies. But whether Sphagnum farming is economically feasible is unclear. Drawing on experience gained during four research projects in Germany we compared the procedures, costs and area potential for establishing large-scale Sphagnum cultures. Establishment costs were clearly lower for soil-based cultivation (€8.35 m-2 to €12.80 m-2) than for water-based cultivation (€17.34 m-2 to €21.43 m-2). Relating costs to the predicted dry mass yield over the total cultivation time resulted in values of €1,723 t-1 on cut-over bog, €2,646 t-1 on former bog grassland, €9,625 t-1 on floating mats without pre-cultivation and €11,833 t-1 on pre-cultivated Sphagnum mats. The high production costs of the mats (without pre-cultivation 54 % and with pre-cultivation 63 % of total costs) resulted in the highest overall costs. In the case of soil-based Sphagnum cultures, the costs of purchasing Sphagnum diaspores were most influential (on bog grassland 46 % and on cut-over bog 71 % of total costs). The lowest costs relate to cut-over bog because of the smaller effort required for site preparation compared to taking off the topsoil of former bog grassland and the limited costs for the assumed irrigation system. In the case of former bog grassland, the high investment costs for the project-specific automatic water management boosted the establishment costs. Taking into account potential savings on the irrigation system and the high area potential, bog grassland emerges as the most promising land category for Sphagnum farming in Germany.
Wichmann, S., Prager, A. & Gaudig, G. (2017): Establishing Sphagnum cultures on bog grassland, cut-over bogs, and floating mats: procedures, costs and area potential in Germany. Mires and Peat, 20(3), 1-19. (Online: http://www.mires-and-peat.net/pages/volumes/map20/map2003.php); 10.19189/MaP.2016.OMB.235
IMCG and IPS acknowledge the work of the reviewers.