Ecology of a peat bog

Ann Brown

After Wise Use – The Future of Peatlands, Proceedings of the 13th International Peat Congress: Pristine Mire Landscapes

Tullamore, Ireland

acrotelm, catotelm, methane, methanogens, peatlands

Brown 2008: Ecology of a peat bog


Previous work investigating Canadian peatlands and their ecology has shown the microbial activity responsible for their formation and maintenance, as well as the ease with which this environment can be disturbed, possibly with significant consequences. Research indicates that it is essential that we look very carefully how our actions may destroy these unique ecosystems. A general description of the ombrotrophic peat bog is followed by specific investigations into cellulose degradation, methane production, the hydraulic conductivity of peat and then of a possible methane inhibitor. These demonstrate the potential outcome of bog destruction, whether by physical removal or flooding, either by man or climate.