More than 100 years of Swedish peat studies

Gustav Sohlenius, Kristian Schoning

Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress


20th-century, peat-studies, sweden

Sohlenius, Schoning 2012: More than 100 years of Swedish peat studies


Theme I.  Inventory, stratigraphy and conservation of mires and peatlands


This poster presents some examples of peat data that has been collected at SGU during the last century. During the beginning of the 20th century a large peat surveys took place in southern Sweden in order to quantify the energy peat resources. Later peat data was collected during mapping of Quaternary deposits and during further energy peat surveys. Most of the peat data can be found in hand written diaries and in some cases also in printed reports. Only a minor part of the data has been digitalised. Most data comprises basic information such as degree of humification and peat type. The composition of the vegetation was described at many of the sites studied during the beginning of the
20th century. In certain cases results from more detailed studies are presented (e.g. 14C-dates, pollen investigations).
SGUs peat data can be used for several purposes:
1) For research, many of the peat lands were investigated 100 years ago and the data can therefore be used to study how changed land use has affected the properties peat and vegetation. The data can also be used to calculate rate of peat accumulation.
2) To find areas suitable for harvesting energy peat or horticulture peat.
3) For describing protected peat lands, many of the investigated sites are today natural reserves. Peat data can be used to illustrate wetland succession and vegetation development of these areas.