Robin Sen, David Elliott, Felix Nwaishi, Graham Smith, Simon Caporn
Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress
bacteria, blanket-bog, fungi, pyrosequencing, restoration
Theme I. Inventory, stratigraphy and conservation of mires and peatlands
Impacts of degraded blanket bog restoration on culturable and non-culturable soil bacterial and fungal biodiversity and spatial distribution were assessed. A total of 18 peat cores sampled from unvegetated areas and from 3 restored vegetation classes, remnant vegetation and grass dominated gullies were subjected to culturable microbial enumeration, molecular community profiling and pyrosequencing. Culturable bacterial and fungal counts in peat were two orders of magnitude lower than in peats supporting other vegetation classes. Key bacterial and fungal phyla involved in N and C cycling were identified and respective community structures and geospatial relationships identified were closely linked to above-ground restoration efforts. The study has delivered much needed information on how peatland restoration may impact soil microbial communities, the key drivers of ecosystem services.