Drivers of peat accumulation rate in a raised bog: impact of drainage, climate, and local vegetation composition

Normunds Stivrins, I. Ozoloa, M. Galka, E. Kuske, T. Alliksaar, T. J. Andersen, M. Lamentowicz, Sabine Wulf, T. Reitalu

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    Abstract

    We used variation partitioning to assess the relative importance of drainage, climate and local vegetation composition for the development of a raised bog. As a case study we selected Teiči (Teici) Bog in Latvia (north-east Europe). Explanatory variables together explained 74 % of the variation in peat accumulation and only the residue of 26 % remained unexplained. Our study showed that the local vegetation composition and dominant Sphagnum species significantly influence peat accumulation rates. The results of linear models revealed that, under natural conditions, minor drainage and even strong drainage of the peat is associated with a positive growth balance of the system. However, drainage systems can have a measurable impact on peatland ecosystems situated farther away. Our study demonstrates that the average peat accumulation rate in Teici Bog over the last 150 years was 3.5 mm per year. Although the peat accumulation rate has been affected by drainage over the last half-century, it is still 2.8 mm per year. There was no strong correlation with the historical climate record, suggesting that the bog area has buffered the influence of climate change over the last 150 years.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number8
    Number of pages19
    JournalMires and Peat
    Volume19
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2017

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