Current issue: 53(4)
The present study deals with correlation between level of ground water table and water content of peat in peatlands drained for forestry. The results have been obtained partly from field studies and partly from experiments in the laboratory.
Both the field and laboratory experiments proved that a close rectilinear correlation exists between the level of the ground water table and the water content of surface peat. A given change in the level of the ground water table corresponds to a smaller change in the water content the deeper the peat layer examined is situated. The change in the water content in the surface layer (0–20 cm) in the cases studied was of such a magnitude that a change of 10 cm in the level of the ground water table corresponded to a change of about 5 volume per cent. In deeper layers the change was smaller. The state of equilibrium regulating the water content of the peat is relatively stable. It is possible that the so-called optimum drainage of a peatland for each tree species can be theoretically determined on the basis of the correlation between the water content of peat and the level of ground water table.
The method used in the study, the repeated weighing of peat samples in their original place, has proved to be very useful and decisively better than the method based on one-time samples. The experiment also indicate that the correlation can be determined with laboratory experiments.
The aim of the study is to find out 1) whether and how the original moor type can be found out based on vegetation regardless the phase of drainage; 2) whether the different phases of draining can be distinguished based on the vegetation; and 3) is it possible to classify the well drained moors into vegetation types that would reflect the productive capacity of the land.
The data consists of samples collected from ditched areas. There are 11 moor types from two climatic ditching zones. The results show that the original moor type can be determined based on vegetation, the phase of drainage can be determined under some limitations, and the classification for productivity can be done for practical purposes.
The PDF contains a summary in Finnish.
Decomposition of the peat using von Post Humification Scale (1–10), developed by Lennart von Post, can be determined based on characteristics of peat, such as fibre integrity, colour and viscosity of exudate, and presence of colloidal particles, of handful of peat squeezed in the hand. It is easy to use and has proved useful in the practical work. The method developed by Pjavthenko is mostly based on specific weight off a dried sample in percentage, and requires analysis in the laboratory. The aim of this study was to compare the results of these two methods by measuring 156 peat samples representing different stages of decomposition.
The methods are based on different principles, which is reflected in small differences of the results. The maximum scores of the methods are clearly in different level. The maximum grade of 9–10 in von Post scale correspond decomposition percentage 51 in the scale of Pjavtsheko. However, the decomposition values in von Post scale are placed evenly on the scale of Pjavtshenko. This suggests that the von Post Scale is consistent and accurately developed. According to the study, the Pjavtshenko method is a good method to validate results of von Post Humification Scale, and can be used when decomposition of peat samples is determined in laboratory.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
According to studies following the development of vegetation of drained peatlands, it seems that they have transformed to a relatively stable plant communities during the succession. In earlier studies it was assumed that after drainage a mire type would develop to a corresponding forest site. This investigation studies what kinds of plant communities are formed during succession of different mire types on peatlands drained for forestry in the southern half of Finland. Understorey vegetation was studied in 18 sample plots established by Forest Research Institute on drained peatlands. In addition, sample plots were studied on peatlands in natural state.
The results suggest that understorey vegetation on peatlands drained for forestry have developed into plant communities, the most advanced of which are the so-called dry plant communities. They represent transformed site types, which are the following: drained peatlands with upland herb-rich vegetation, drained peatlands with upland grass-herb vegetation, drained peatlands with upland Myrtillus site type vegetation, drained peatlands with upland Vaccinium site type vegetation, and drained peatlands with upland Calluna site type vegetation. Drained peatlands with upland Cladonia site type vegetation seem to be a temporary type caused by incomplete drainage. The transition between Myrtillus and Vaccinium dominated dry plant communities is not clear, but especially the pure Vaccinium vitis-ideae communities justify its place as an independent plant community. The dry drwarf shrub plant communities are also stable.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
In most pine swamp stands on drained peatlands the dwarf-shrubs are rather important biomass producers. The aim of the experiment was to determine the effect of killing off the dwarf-shrub vegetation on the subsequent development of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand. The dwarf-shrub vegetation was killed by means of herbicides. The results show that by removing competition by the dwarf-shrub vegetation on drained pine swamps, it is possible to pass onto the trees at least some of the freed growth potential.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
The aim of the present study was to assess whether two-year old Betula verrucosa Ehrh. (now Betula pendula Roth.) transplants can be used in afforestation of drained peatlands and what factors affect the development of the young trees. The seedlings were planted in 1967. The site was repair planted next spring due to mortality caused by a undefined fungal disease, and the plantations were fertilized with NPK fertilizer (soil application. The seedlings were measured twice a year until the autumn 1970.
Only 28% of the original transplants, and 73.4% of the repair plantations were alive in 1970. In some cases, fertilization improved the results, while in others it was detrimental to the trees or had no effect on survival. According to peat analysis, the poor survival and development of the plants could be due to the too high ratios of N/Ca and N/P. Stunted or dead trees displayed often necrosis caused by Godronia multispora. According to the experiences, Betula verrucosa plantations are inferior to those obtained with Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). In addition, the results indicate that in old draining areas calcium and phosphorus are often too low in comparison to nitrogen.
The PDF includes a summary in English.