Juozas Ruseckas and Vaidotas Grigaliunas
After Wise Use – The Future of Peatlands, Proceedings of the 13th International Peat Congress: Peatland Forestry
cutovers, drainage, fen, forest-regeneration, water-table
The objective of this study is to identify direct and indirect factors causing weak forest regeneration and poor growth of young trees on cutovers in drained fens, and suggest measures to improve forest regeneration on wetland. Forest regeneration success was assessed in fresh and 10-years-old cutovers on undrained and drained fens by the aid of a network of 10 × 10 m sample plots (172 sample plots in total). The results showed that during the years of normal humidity, high water table depth, which at the beginning of the growth period lies at a depth of 30 cm or more, is one of the main factors inhibiting natural regeneration of forest on peat soils of drained fens. Forest regeneration in fens is also affected by coverage of grass vegetation (r = –0.60), hydrolytic acidity of the upper soil layer (r = –0.34). Variation in these factors explained 56% of the variation in the density of natural regeneration.