Rehabilitation of vegetation of cutaway Atlantic blanket bog through rewetting, Bellacorick, County Mayo, Ireland
This study is summarised as evidence for the following.
Rewet peatland (raise water table)Action Link
Rewet peatland (raise water table)
A controlled before-and-after study in 1997–1999 in a historically mined blanket bog in Ireland (Farrell & Doyle 2003) reported that after rewetting, cover of total vegetation, algae, Sphagnum moss and common cottongrass Eriophorum angustifolium all increased, but cover of other bryophytes decreased. No statistical tests were carried out. Total vegetation cover was 40% before rewetting and 93% two years after. Cover of algae was 10% before and 92% after, Sphagnum <1% before and 31% after, other bryophytes 12% before and 1% after, and cottongrass 18% before and 24% after. In control plots that remained drained, cover values remained stable over time (total: 54–56%; algae: 21%; Sphagnum: 0%; other bryophytes: 26%; cottongrass: 31–32%). In August 1997, a 1 m high peat ridge was built around a drained bog to retain water (water table raised to 10–42 cm above peat surface). An adjacent bog remained drained for comparison (water table 0–12 cm below surface). In August 1997 (before intervention) and 1999, vegetation cover was estimated in nine equally sized quadrats/bog.