Peat Bog Ecosystems: Ecological Impacts of Forestry on Peatlands

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Lindsay, Richard ; Birnie, Richard ; Clough, Jack (2014)
  • Publisher: International Union for the Conservation of Nature

For the most part, UK blanket bogs have been treeless for many thousands of years, although in their natural state they would probably have had stunted woodland along streamlines and on steep marginal slopes. Commercial afforestation of UK bogs, on the other hand, requires intensive drainage to permit the trees to grow. This drainage results in substantial hydrological, morphological and carbon-storage impacts, as well as significant loss of typical peat bog biodiversity.\ud \ud This briefing note is part of a series aimed at policy makers, practitioners and academics to help explain the ecological processes that underpin peatland function. Understanding the ecology of peatlands is essential when investigating the impacts of human activity on peatlands, interpreting research findings and planning the recovery of damaged peatlands.
  • References (4)

    1 For example see:  Bainbridge, I.P., Housden, S.D., Minns, D.W. & Lance, A.N. (1987) Forestry in the Flows of Caithness & Sutherland. RSPB Conservation Topic Paper 18, June 1987. RSPB, Edinburgh & Sandy.  Stroud, D.A., Reed, T.M., Pienowski, M.W. & Lindsay, R.A. (1987) Birds, Bogs & Forestry. Nature Conservancy Council, Edinburgh.  Tompkins, S.C. (1986) Theft of the Hills. Rambler's Association, London.  Watkins, C. (1991) Nature Conservation & the New Lowland Forests. Nature Conservancy Council, Peterborough.

    2 Patterson, G. & Anderson, R. (2000) Forests & Peatland Habitats. July 2000. Forestry Commission Guideline Note 1, Forestry Commission, Edinburgh. http://www.forestry.gov.uk/PDF/fcgn1.pdf/$FILE/fcgn1.pdf

    3 DANI (1993) Statement on Afforestation. Department of Agriculture Northern Ireland, Belfast. http://www.dardni.gov.uk/afforestationthe-dani-statement-on-environmental-policy.pdf

    4 Forestry Commission England, Forestry Commission Scotland, Forest Service Northern Ireland & Natural Resources Wales.

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