Liisa Maanavilja, Zuzana Urbanová, Tomáš Picek, Jiři Bárta, Raija Laiho and Eeva-Stiina Tuittila
Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress
restoration, rewetting, soil-microbial-activity, swamp-forests
Theme V. Restoration, rehabilitation and after-use of disturbed peatlands
Spruce swamp forests, once common in northern Europe, have declined drastically, mainly due to drainage for forestry. Rewetting is an attempt to restore some of the values and benefits lost as a result of drainage. To study the effects of drainage and restoration, we measured surface peat properties in drained, rewetted and pristine spruce swamp forests in southern Finland and Šumava Mountains, Czech Republic. Peat bulk density had increased substantially following drainage, but after rewetting it changed back towards pristine conditions. Microbial biomass and activity were highest in the pristine sites. In the rewetted sites a change towards pristine functioning was observable.