Laura Kangas, Liisa Maanavilja, Tomáš Hájek , Eija Juurola, Rodney Chimner and Eeva-Stiina Tuittila
Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress
mire, moss, peatland, photosynthesis
Kangas 2012: Sphagnum Ecophysiology of Restored, Drained, and Pristine Boreal Spruce Swamp Forests
Theme V. Restoration, rehabilitation and after-use of disturbed peatlands
Boreal spruce swamp forests, in their natural state, harbor a large diversity of plant species. However, these swamp forests have been heavily exploited for forestry; in southern Finland for example, 60% to 80% of the original spruce swamp forests have been drained since the 1950s. In recent years, however, restoration of drained spruce swamps has been taking place. As Sphagnum mosses are keystone species in spruce swamp habitats, this study seeks to evaluate the effect of restoration on the ecophysiological functioning of Sphagnum mosses in comparison to pristine and drained sites. Ecophysiological parameters varied strongly between species, with species of wetter habitats exhibiting higher potential photosynthesis rates and lower stress levels, as indicated by chlorophyll fluorescence. Potential photosynthesis was also greatest in restored sites.