Studies of terrestiral invertebrate diversity in Irish peatlands

Rachel Wisdom and Thomas Bolger

After Wise Use – The Future of Peatlands, Proceedings of the 13th International Peat Congress: Pristine Mire Landscapes

Tullamore, Ireland

carabidae, mites, peatlands, spiders, terrestrial-fauna

Wisdom 2008: Studies of terrestiral invertebrate diversity in Irish peatlands


Many terrestrial invertebrate species are known to occur exclusively in peatlands but few studies have aimed specifically to compare their diversity across a range of peatland types. This study is designed to improve knowledge of the invertebrates found in Irish peatlands by comparing raised bog, mountain blanket bog, Atlantic lowland blanket bog and fens. Particular attention is paid to taxa which are known to have significant functional roles in these ecosystems, in particular mites (Acarina), beetles (Coleoptera) – especially Carabidae – and pot worms (Enchytraeidae). Preliminary results have shown significant differences between fens and the other three peatland types. The diversity of mites is high but the diversity is limited to a small number of species in relatively intact peatlands.