Functional Characteristics and Indicators of Boreal Peatlands

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2.5 Conclusions

Zonobiome VIII is a mosaic of lakes, upland evergreen and deciduous forest, and peatlands. Most of the world’s peat-forming ecosystems occur in the boreal zone where they play important roles in carbon sequestration, erosional control, and landscape filtration. Peatlands are uniquely unbalanced ecosystems that are sensitive to the influences of hydrology, climate, and surrounding substrate. Peat-forming wetlands form two functional levels of organization: fens and bogs. Both of these grades develop deep deposits of peat and stabilize the landscape for long periods of time. Both are characterized by well-developed catotelms and ground layers dominated by bryophytes.