eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
Estonian Journal of Ecology

Factors affecting the re-vegetation of abandoned extracted peatlands in Estonia: a synthesis from field and greenhouse studies; pp. 192–211

Full article in PDF format | doi: 10.3176/eco.2013.3.02

Triin Triisberg, Edgar Karofeld, Jaanus Paal


Re-vegetation of extracted peatlands is a slow and sporadic process. The aim of our study was to clarify whether this process is affected by the distance from vegetated areas and propagules arrival or by the conditions for propagules germination and plant growth. Our analysis is based on three extracted peatlands in Estonia, abandoned 26–31 years ago. In all study areas vegetation was analysed on the gradient from a neighbouring vegetated area towards the central part of the peatland. In addition, peat blocks were collected from the marginal and central parts of the peatlands, held in favourable moisture conditions for seed germination in a greenhouse, and half of them were fertilized with a complex fertilizer.
Our study showed the species pool to be present everywhere on abandoned extracted peatlands, but the germination was influenced by different factors such as water table, peat chemistry, etc. The species richness on extracted peatlands was higher close to the neighbouring vegetated areas and decreased towards the central part of the peatland, but for the peat blocks held in the greenhouse, the number of species was higher for the blocks collected from the central parts of the peatlands. The proximity of the vegetated area did not increase the number of species developed in the greenhouse whereas higher moisture and temperature conditions initiated the growth of many additional species not found on the extracted peatlands. Our study demonstrated that fertilization with a complex fertilizer did not have an overall influence on the number of species, indicating that the re-vegetation of extracted peatlands is more controlled by moisture conditions than by the availability of nutrients or propagules arrival.


Anggria, L., Kasno, A. & Rochayati, S. 2012. Effect of organic matter on nitrogen mineralization in flooded and dry soil. ARPN Journal of Agricultural and Biological Science, 7(8), 586–590.

Baskin, C. C. & Baskin, J. M. 1998. Seeds. Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination. Academic Press, San Diego.

Belyea, L. 2004. Beyond ecological filters: feedback networks in the assembly and restoration of community structure. In Assembly Rules and Restoration Ecology: Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice (Temperton, V. M., Hobbes, R. J., Nuttle, T. & Halle, S., eds), pp. 115–131. Society for Ecological Restoration International.

Campbell, D. R. & Rochefort, L. 2003. Germination and seedling growth of bog plants in relation to the recolonization of milled peatlands. Plant Ecology, 169, 71–84.

Campbell, D. R., Lavoie, C. & Rochefort, L. 2002. Wind erosion and surface stability in abandoned milled peatlands. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 82, 85–95.

Campbell, D. R., Rochefort, L. & Lavoie, C. 2003. Determining the immigration potential of plants colonizing disturbed environments: the case of milled peatlands in Quebec. Journal of Applied Ecology, 40, 78–91.

Determination of electrical conductivity in soil, sewage sludge and biowaste. CEN/TF. 2005-10-04. TC WI: 2003 (E). (accessed 21.12.2012).

Dufrêne, M. & Legendre, P. 1997. Species assemblages and indicator species: the need for a flexible asymmetrical approach. Ecological Monographs, 67, 345–366.

Egawa, C., Koyama, A. & Tsuyuzaki, S. 2009. Relationships between the developments of seedbank, standing vegetation and litter in a post-mined peatland. Plant Ecology, 203, 217–228.

Ellenberg, H., Weber, H. E., Düll, R., Wirth, W. W. & Pauliβen, D. 1992. Zeigewerte von Pflanzen in Mitteleuropa. Scripta Geobotanica, 18. Verlag Erich Goltze KC, Göttingen.

Ferland, C. & Rochefort, L. 1997. Restoration techniques for Sphagnum-dominated peatlands. Canadian Journal of Botany, 75, 1110–1118.

Girard, M., Lavoie, C. & Thériault, M. 2002. The regeneration of a highly disturbed ecosystem: a mined peatland in southern Québec. Ecosystems, 5, 274–288.

Groeneveld, E. V. G. & Rochefort, L. 2002. Nursing plants in peatland restoration: on their potential use to alleviate frost heaving problems. Suo. Mires and Peat, 53(3–4), 73–85.

Groeneveld, E. V. G. & Rochefort, L. 2005. Polytrichum strictum as a solution to frost heaving in disturbed ecosystems: a case study with milled peatlands. Restoration Ecology, 13(1), 74–82.

Hulme, P. & Birnie, D. 1997. Monitoring and site assessment. Peat. In Conserving Bogs. The Management Handbook (Stoneman, R. & Brooks, S., eds), pp. 74–80. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh.

Huopalainen, M., Tuittila, E.-S., Laine, J. & Vasander, H. 1998. Seed and spore bank in a cut-away peatland twenty years after abandonment. International Peat Journal, 8, 42–51.

Huotari, N., Tillmann-Sutela, E., Kauppi, A. & Kubin, E. 2007. Fertilization ensures rapid formation of ground vegetation on cut-away peatlands. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 37(5), 874–883.

Ilomets, M. 2001. Mis saab jääksoodest? Eesti Loodus, 6, 218–221 (in Estonian).

Ingerpuu, N., Kalda, A., Kannukene, L., Krall, H., Leis, M. & Vellak, K. 1998. Eesti sammalde määraja. Eesti Loodusfoto, Tartu (in Estonian).

Jõgi, J. & Tarand, A. 1995. Nüüdiskliima. In Eesti. Loodus (Raukas, A., ed.), pp. 183–216. Valgus & Eesti Entsüklopeediakirjastus, Tallinn (in Estonian).

Karofeld, E. & Pajula, R. 2003. Regularities in the formation and distribution of necrotic Sphagnum patches in raised bogs. In Ecohydrological Processes in Northern Wetlands. Selected Papers of International Conference & Educational Workshop (Järvet, A. & Lode, E., eds), pp. 149–154. Tartu University Press, Tallinn–Tartu.

Koyama, A. & Tsuyuzaki, S. 2010. Effects of sedge and cottongrass tussocks on plant establish­ment patterns in a post-mined peatland, northern Japan. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 18, 135–148.

Lavoie, C., Grosvernier, M., Girard, M. & Marcoux, K. 2003. Spontaneous revegetation of mined peatlands: An useful restoration tool? Wetlands Ecology and Management, 11, 97–197.

Leht, M. (ed.) 2010. Eesti taimede määraja. Eesti Loodusfoto, Tartu (in Estonian).

McCune, B. & Mefford, M. J. 1999. PC–ORD. Multivariate Analysis of Ecological Data, Version 4. MjM Software Design, Gleneden Beach, Oregon, USA.

Myels, J. A. & Harms, K. E. 2009. Seed arrival, ecological filters, and plant species richness: a meta analysis. Ecology Letters, 12, 1250–1260.

Orru, M. 1992. Eesti turbavarud. Eesti Geoloogiakeskus, Tallinn (in Estonian).

Paavilainen, E. & Päivänen, J. 1995. Utilization of peatlands. In Peatland Forestry (Vasander, H., ed.), pp. 15–30. Springer, Germany.

Price, J. 1997. Soil moisture, water tension, and water table relationships in a managed cutover bog. Journal of Hydrology, 202, 21–32.

Price, J., Rochefort, L. & Quinty, F. 1998. Energy and moisture considerations on cutover peatlands: surface microtopography, mulch cover and Sphagnum regeneration. Ecological Engineering, 10, 293–312.

Price, J. S., Heathwaite, A. L. & Baird, A. J. 2003. Hydrological processes in abandoned and restored peatlands: an overview of management approaches. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 11, 65–83.

Ramst, R. & Orru, M. 2009. Eesti mahajäetud turbatootmisalade taastaimestumine. Eesti Põlev­loodus­varad ja -jäätmed, 1, 6–7 (in Estonian).

Ramst, R., Orru, M. & Halliste, L. 2005. Eesti mahajäetud turbatootmisalade revisjon. 1. etapp: Harju, Rapla ja Lääne maakond. Eesti Geoloogiakeskus, Tallinn (in Estonian).

Ramst, R., Orru, M., Salo, V. & Halliste, L. 2006. Eesti mahajäetud turbatootmisalade revisjon. 2. etapp: Ida-Viru, Lääne-Viru, Jõgeva, Järva ja Tartu maakond. Eesti Geoloogiakeskus, Tallinn (in Estonian).

Raudsep, R. 2011. Turbakaevandamist reguleerivad õigusaktid. In Jääksood, nende kasutamine ja korrastamine (Paal, J., ed.), pp. 33–38. Keskkonnainvesteeringute Keskus & Eesti Turbaliit, Tartu (in Estonian).

Salm, J.-O., Kimmel, K., Uri, V. & Mander, Ü. 2009. Global warming potential of drained and undrained peatlands in Estonia: a synthesis. Wetlands, 29(4), 1081–1092.

Salonen, V. 1987. Relationship between the seed rain and the establishment of vegetation in two areas abandoned after peat harvesting. Holarctic Ecology, 10, 171–174.

Salonen, V. 1994. Revegetation of harvested peat surfaces in relation to substrate quality. Journal of Vegetation Science, 5, 403–408.

Salonen, V. & Laaksonen, M. 1994. Effects of fertilization, liming, watering and tillage on plant colonization of bare peat surfaces. Annales Botanici Fennici, 31, 29–36.

Salonen, V. & Setälä, H. 1992. Plant colonization of bare peat surface – relative importance of seed availability and soil. Ecography, 15, 199–204.

Sottocornola, M., Boudreau, S. & Rochefort, L. 2007. Peat bog restoration: effect of phosphorus on plant re-establishment. Ecological Engineering, 31, 29–40.

Ter Braak, C. J. F. & Šmilauer, P. 2002. CANOCO Reference Manual and CanoDraw for Windows User’s Guide. Biometris, Wageningen and České Budějovice.

Triisberg, T., Karofeld, E. & Paal, J. 2011. Re-vegetation of block-cut and milled peatlands: an Estonian example. Mires and Peat, 8, 1–14.

Triisberg, T., Karofeld, E., Liira, J., Orru, M., Ramst, R. & Paal, J. 2013. Microtopography and the properties of residual peat are convenient indicators for restoration planning of abandoned extracted peatlands. Restoration Ecology.

Tuittila, E.-S., Rita, H., Vasander, H. & Laine, J. 2000. Vegetation patterns around Eriophorum vaginatum L. tussocks in a cut-away peatland in southern Finland. Canadian Journal of Botany, 78, 47–58.

Back to Issue

Back issues