Concepts of fen and bog re-examined in relation to bryophyte cover and the acidity of surface waters

Eville Gorham, Jan A. Janssens


Studies of surface-water pH and bryophyte assemblages in 440 plots from five peatland regions across northern North America reveal a very distinct, two-fold division into fens with a pH mode at 6.76-7.00, in which Amblystegiaceae are prominent, and bogs with a pH mode at 4.01-4.25, in which Sphagnaceae are dominant. The relevance of the data to past and current views on peatland classification is explored.


peatland; classification; fen; bog; water acidity; bryophyte

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