Contrasted effects of increased N and CO2 supply on two keystone species in peatland restoration and implications for global change

1 Significant areas of temperate bogs have been damaged by peat harvesting but may regenerate. These secondary mires, if well managed, may act as strong C sinks, regulate hydrology and buffer regional climate. 2 The potential effects of bog regeneration will, however, depend on the successful establishment of the principal peat formers - Sphagnum mosses. The influence of hydrology and microclimate on Sphagnum re-growth is well studied but effects of elevated CO2 and N deposition are not known. 3 We carried out two in-situ experiments in a cutover bog during three growing seasons in which we raised either CO2 (to 560 p.p.m.) or N (by adding NH4NO3, 3 g m(-2) year(-1)). The two treatments had contrasting effects on competition between the initial coloniser Polytrichum strictum (favoured by high N) and the later coloniser Sphagnum fallax (favoured by high CO2). 4 Such changes may have important consequences for bog regeneration and hence for carbon sequestration in cutover bogs, with potential feedback on regional hydrological and climatic processes.

Published in:
Journal of Ecology, 90, 3, 529-533

 Record created 2006-03-09, last modified 2018-03-17

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