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Sphagnum restoration on degraded blanket and raised bogs in the UK using micropropagated source material: a review of progress

Caporn, S (2018) Sphagnum restoration on degraded blanket and raised bogs in the UK using micropropagated source material: a review of progress. Mires and Peat, 20 (9). pp. 1-17. ISSN 1819-754X

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Abstract

There is a growing demand for a supply of Sphagnum to re-introduce to degraded peatlands. However, available supplies of Sphagnum of the desired species are often limited. We describe the propagation of Sphagnum from vegetative material in sterile tissue culture and the introduction of juvenile mosses into the field. Sphagnum produced in the laboratory in three different forms (beads, gel and plugs) was introduced to different peatland surfaces on upland degraded blanket bog and lowland cut-over peatland in northern England. On degraded blanket bog, the establishment of mixed-species Sphagnum plugs was typically 99 % while the survival of beads was much lower, ranging from little above zero on bare eroding peat to a maximum of 12 % on stabilised peat surfaces. On lowland cut-over peatland, all trials took place on peat with an expanding cover of Eriophorum angustifolium and tested Sphagnum gel as well as beads and plugs. This work showed that survival and establishment of plugs was high (99 %) and greater than for beads. Sphagnum gel reached a cover of 95 % in two years. The vegetative micropropagation of Sphagnum offers an effective source of Sphagnum for re-introduction to degraded peatlands.

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