Add fresh peat to peatland (before planting)

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects, on peatland vegetation, of adding fresh peat before planting peatland plants. The study was in a bog.
  • Cover (1 study): One replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in a bog New Zealand reported that plots amended with fine peat supported higher cover of two sown plant species than the original (tilled) bog surface. However, for one species fertilization cancelled out this effect.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 1998–2000 in a historically mined raised bog in New Zealand (Schipper et al. 2002) reported that amending plots with fine peat allowed greater cover of two sown species to develop, although for one species only in the absence of fertilizer. These results are not based on tests of statistical significance. After 810 days, plots amended with peat before sowing manuka Leptospermum scoparium seeds had 99–100% manuka cover, compared to only 1–68% manuka cover in plots not amended with peat. Plots amended with peat before sowing bamboo rush Sporadanthus ferrugineus seeds developed 0–32% rush cover (0–6% when fertilized; 32% when not fertilized), compared to 0–11% when not amended with peat. In March 1998, forty-eight 25 m2 plots were sown: 24 with manuka and 24 with bamboo rush. For each plant species, eight plots were on a 30 cm layer of fresh fine peat and 16 directly on the existing bare peat (but note this was also tilled). Some plots were fertilized with phosphorous, nitrogen or both. In June 2000, canopy cover was visually estimated in each plot. This study also reported the effect of fertilization in unsown plots (see original paper).

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Taylor, N.G., Grillas, P. & Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Peatland Conservation. Pages 367-430 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Peatland Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Peatland Conservation
Peatland Conservation

Peatland Conservation - Published 2018

Peatland Conservation

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What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

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