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Wetlands Ecology and Management

, Volume 11, Issue 1–2, pp 51–63 | Cite as

Status and restoration of peatlands in northern Europe

  • H. Vasander
  • E.-S. Tuittila
  • E. Lode
  • L. Lundin
  • M. Ilomets
  • T. Sallantaus
  • R. Heikkilä
  • M.-L. Pitkänen
  • J. Laine
Article

Abstract

Environmental management of peatlands,landscape ecology and protection of keybiotopes have created needs and pressure torestore drained peatlands to natural mireecosystems. Here, we summarize differentapproaches and restoration techniquesdeveloped for peatland management inEstonia, Sweden, and Finland wherepeatlands are abundant. Without rewetting,plant colonisation on abandoned cut-awayareas is slow due to harsh hydrological andmicroclimatic conditions. However, after restoration, cut-away peatlands may returnto a functional state close to that ofpristine mires, and therefore restore a netcarbon sink function within a few years. Inaddition, restoration techniques can helpto create buffer zones between terrestrialand limnic ecosystems that reduces thenutrient loading imposed on watercourses byforestry operations. Restoration may alsobe important for peatland conservationprograms as drained peatlands are part ofpresent and future conservation areas.Finally, restoration actions in themselvescan have negative environmental impacts.For instance, inundation of peat surfacesresulting from the rewetting process oftenincreases phosphorus leaching. Efforts onpeatland restoration should focus onenvironmental monitoring, research onrestoration and its environmental impact aswell as public relations activities. Inthat respect, knowledge transfer betweenacademics and managers should generatesynergy benefits.

cut-away peatlands Estonia Finland forest drainage mires monitoring Sweden 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Vasander
    • 1
  • E.-S. Tuittila
    • 1
  • E. Lode
    • 2
  • L. Lundin
    • 3
  • M. Ilomets
    • 2
  • T. Sallantaus
    • 4
  • R. Heikkilä
    • 5
  • M.-L. Pitkänen
    • 6
  • J. Laine
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Forest EcologyUniversity of HelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Institute of EcologyTallinn Pedagogical UniversityTallinnEstonia
  3. 3.Department of Forest SoilsSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden
  4. 4.Regional Environmental Agency of PirkanmaaTampereFinland
  5. 5.Kainuu Regional Environment CentreKuhmoFinland
  6. 6.Forest and Park ServiceParkanoFinland

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