Edel Hannigan and Mary Kelly-Quinn
After Wise Use – The Future of Peatlands, Proceedings of the 13th International Peat Congress: Pristine Mire Landscapes
bogs, fens, hydrochemistry, macroinvertebrate-communities
The present study is part of a national project developing a protocol for sustainable peatland management. Hydrochemical and biological characteristics of open-water habitats in Irish peatlands are being examined. This paper presents preliminary findings for two study sites, Scragh Bog (Co. Westmeath) and Owenirragh Bog (Co. Mayo), from samples collected during spring 2006. The hydrochemical results showed Scragh Bog to be more minerotrophic than Owenirragh Bog with higher pH, alkalinity and calcium concentrations. However, Owenirragh Bog had elevated levels of sodium, chloride and sulphate which indicate a marine influence. These differences are also reflected in the macroinvertebrate communities, with Scragh Bog hosting a higher diversity and abundance of macroinvertebrate taxa.