Non-destructive methods for peat layer assessment in oligotrophic peat bogs: a case study from Poiana Ştampei, Romania

Iuliana F. Gheorghe, Cristina M. Vâlcu, Ion Barbu, Sorana Ţopa


Practices currently employed in the investigation and characterisation of peat deposits are destructive and may irremediable perturb peat bog development even in cases when exploitation is not carried out. We investigated the correlation between vegetation characteristics in the active area of Poiana Ştampei peat bog, Romania, and the underlying peat layer depth, aiming at establishing a non-destructive method of peat layer depth estimation. The presence of the Sphagneto-Eriophoretum vaginati association, dominated by Sphagnum fimbriatum, Eriophorum vaginatum, Andromeda polifolia, Vaccinium oxycoccos, V. myrtillus, V. vitis-idaea, Polytrichum commune, Picea excelsa, Pinus sylvestris and Betula verrucosa was found to predict the existence of the peat layer but not its depth. Out of the seven identified vegetation types, one type was associated with a very thin or no peat layer, one type was characterised by the presence of a thick (over 100 cm) peat layer and five types indicated the presence of variable average depths of the peat layer. pH values correlated with peat layer depth only within the vegetation type associated with thick peat layers.


classification system; plant community; similarity; Sphagnum fimbriatum

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