Boreal Peatland Ecosystems

Volume 188 of the series Ecological Studies pp 381-423

Restoration of Degraded Boreal Peatlands

  • Line RochefortAffiliated withPeatland Ecology Research Group and Centre d’études Nordiques, Pavillon Paul-Comtois, Université Laval
  • , Elve LodeAffiliated withInstitute of Ecology at Tallinn Pedagogical UniversityDepartment of Forest Soils, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

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17.6 Conclusions

Even though Sphagnum mosses are not easy plants to manipulate on artificial substrates or in nonnatural environments, it is possible to revegetate large expanses of cutover peatland at a relatively low cost (in the range of US $900–1400 per hectare). Only long term monitoring of the current restoration projects will confirm if it is possible to restore the ecological functions of the cutover peatland to bring it back to a peat-accumulating ecosystem. Fen restoration of peat fields used for agriculture has been mostly studied in central Europe but much research is needed to develop sound restoration procedures for cutover peatlands and learn how to grow true mosses. Sphagnum farming (cultivation in nurseries) is promising and research in that area should be promoted.Not only would it be useful for supplying plant material for reintroduction in countries with low supply, but it could prove a useful source of biomass to ameliorate growing substrates.