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RESTORATION OF MINEROTROPHIC VEGETATION WITHIN AN IRISH RAISED BOG SOAK SYSTEM

P.H. Crushell, M.G.C. Schouten, A.J.P. Smolders, J.G.M. Roelofs and P.S. Giller
Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy
Vol. 106B, No. 3, European Vegetation in the 21st Century (November 2006), pp. 371-385
Published by: Royal Irish Academy
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20728608
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
RESTORATION OF MINEROTROPHIC VEGETATION WITHIN AN IRISH RAISED BOG SOAK SYSTEM
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Abstract

Clara Bog is an oceanic raised bog of international ecological importance located in central Ireland. The occurrence of soak systems (areas of mesotrophic/minerotrophic vegetation within acid bog) adds greatly to the scientific interest of Clara Bog. Recent research into the vegetation history of a soak system on Clara Bog known as Lough Roe indicates that major vegetation changes have occurred within the soak over the past century. Vegetation communities were classified and mapped on three different occasions over the last thirty years, most recently in 2003. The results show that the characteristic fen type vegetation has changed considerably with increased representation of ombrotrophic species and a decline in open water communities. Indications are that these changes are occurring as a result of human activity over the past century. It is expected that the soak system will be totally dominated by ombrotrophic bog communities within the next 50 years. This paper describes research investigating the possible restoration of poor fen vegetation within the Lough Roe soak system. Results of hydro-chemical sampling and vegetation monitoring indicate that it is possible to recreate more alkaline conditions suitable for poor fen vegetation to develop by removal of Sphagnum-dominated floating scragh vegetation from the soak. The possible application of the research is discussed with reference to potential future restoration and conservation of the site.

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