Vegetation recovery after multiple-site experimental fen restorations
2012 (English)In: Biological Conservation, ISSN 0006-3207, E-ISSN 1873-2917, Vol. 147, no 1, 60-67 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Large peatland areas have been drained for forestry and agricultural purposes, resulting in the decline of characteristic biodiversity. Two measures commonly suggested for restoring drained fens is ditch blocking and tree removal to raise the groundwater table and increase light availability, respectively. In 2002, we initiated factorial restoration experiments, including ditch blocking and tree removal, in three former rich fens that had been drained for forestry purposes. Species cover of vascular plants and bryophytes were monitored during 8 years in permanent plots along transects perpendicular to the ditch for all four treatment combinations. Both methods had positive and independent effects on the cover of wetland vegetation. Specifically, Sphagnum species and wetland bryophytes showed a persistent positive response to both clear cutting and rewetting. Wetland vascular plants and grasses showed a persistent positive response to clear cutting. Sedges and species number responded positively to both clear cutting and ditch blocking, but the response was partly transient, and for species richness the response was limited when restoration methods were applied separately. Rich fen indicators of vascular plants and bryophytes did not respond to any of the restoration treatments. This indicates that species introduction in combination with further habitat restorations may be necessary to re-establish the original rich fen flora. Nevertheless, we conclude that the combination of ditch blocking and clear cutting are effective measures to partly restore wetland vegetation on previously drained and forested fens, while peat subsidence along the ditch may restrict the success further away from ditches.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 147, no 1, 60-67 p.
Ditch blocking, Fen restoration, Functional groups, Restoration, Rewetting, Tree removal
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-175220DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2012.01.039ISI: 000302972700009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-175220DiVA: diva2:530921