Challenges of Peatland Recultivation in Latvia

Inese Silamikele, Juris Nusbaums, Ivans Cupruns, Ilze Ozola

Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress


peat-deposits, peatland, rehabilitation, restoration

Silamikele et al 2012: Challenges of Peatland Recultivation in Latvia


Theme V. Restoration, rehabilitation and after-use of disturbed peatlands


This paper outlines the results of an inventory of earlier research materials and current research on the status of abandoned cutover peat extraction sites in Latvia. The results will inform recommendations for planning different types of rehabilitation and restoration and the work was carried out at the University of Latvia under the ERDF project “Innovation in Peat Studies for Development of New Applications”. Twenty five peat deposits were surveyed between 2010 and 2011. Assessments of vegetation and changes in hydrological regime were carried out in these deposits, and the overall situation in the studied areas and prospective after-use options were analysed. The study found that natural regeneration of bogs after their utilisation is the most widely used option. Depending on the wetness of sites, either afforestation, or ‘bogging up’ or return to peat forming condition takes place in these areas. Only 10% of abandoned peat extraction sites are later used for agricultural or water reservoir purposes.