The problems of peatland forestry - an introduction.

  • R.E. Parker Department of Botany, The Queen's University of Belfast.
Keywords: Peatland forestry, soil nutrients, ombrogenous bogs, peat decomposition, bog vegetation, Calluna, climate, peatlands.


For the purposes of this study peatland is defined as land on which there is a superficial layer of organic matter within which the roots of the vegetation that it carries are entirely or almost entirely confined. The various factors which contribute to making peat soils less suitable for planting than other soils are considered. The carbon/nitrogen ratio of the soil's organic matter is of particular importance. The manner in which nutrients are supplied to, and lost from, the living vegetation of an ombrogenous bog is described. After planting, further nutrients become available to young trees from the decaying bog plants they have displaced, and from the increased peat decomposition which is caused by increased microbial activity. However, decomposition can destroy the peat itself as a suitable rooting medium. The effect of the competition of bog vegetation, especially Calluna, on a tree's ability to take-up nitrogen and other nutrients in the soil, and the various corrective measures available to combat nutrient deficiency, are examined. The results of draining and planting a number of very wet ombrogenous bogs in Northern Ireland are considered. It is noted that peatland forests are particularly susceptible to adverse climatic conditions because of their peculiar soils...
How to Cite
Parker, R. (1962) “The problems of peatland forestry - an introduction. ”, Irish Forestry. Available at: (Accessed: 21July2024).