Meeri Pearson, Niko Silvan, Markku Saarinen, Kari Minkkinen and Jukka Laine
Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress
co2-emission, peatland-forest-regeneration, soil-preparation
Theme VII. Ecology and management on forested peatlands
Preparing soil after clearcutting may influence the rate at which peat soil decomposes and hence increase the loss of CO2 into the atmosphere. At the same time, soil preparation is considered a necessary means to expedite stand establishment due to its presumably beneficial effects on soil properties and decomposition. Mounding, scalping, and control treatments were applied to a drained, formerly Scots pine-dominated clearcut peatland. Astonishingly, neither mounding nor scalping increased soil CO2 emission (g m-2 h-1) relative to leaving soil undisturbed. In addition, Scots pine seedlings planted in unprepared spots grew equally well as those in mounds, while both the survival rate and growth in scalps proved inferior to the aforementioned microsites. Thus, we found soil preparation on nutrient-poor, forestry-drained peatland sites to pose only negligible climatic risk whilst providing rather meager silvicultural benefits.