Tuesday, August 7, 2007 - 1:30 PM

COS 47-1: Restoration of peat formation process in raised bog Aukstumala

Romas Pakalnis, Jurate Sendzikaite, and Dalia Aviziene. Institute of Botany

The raised bog of Aukstumala (Lithuania) is worldwide known to be the locus clasicus of peat land science, because German botanist C. A. Weber (1902) was the first who described the bog (3018 ha) in the monograph. At that time commercial peat extraction started. Peat litter was excavated manually until the World War II. The greatest changes in the raised bog took place after 1968, when protective embankments, water pumping stations, roads were built; large area was drained for mechanized peat extraction. Since the Soviet times, peat was extracted on two thirds of the bog area. After the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, the Aukstumala Telmological Nature Reserve was established on the unexploited western area of the bog, were ecological restoration work has been started. Some drainage canals have already been dammed. The second problem is that peat extraction provokes draining of the neighbouring zone of the reserve and gives rise to negative changes in hydrological regime. The increment of Pinus sylvestris trees growing under the impact of peat extraction work increased for more than 4 times. Under our proposal, special technical measures were implemented for insulation of the nature reserve from draining. Our data show that original equipment installed in 2006 will allow restoring of optimal water level for peat formation. The third task is to test effective methods for raised bog restoration in exploited peat fields. Having achieved the discussed goals, we will be able to prove scientific significance of the preserved and restored raised bog of Aukatumala.