The Use of Testate Amoebae in Monitoring Peatland Restoration Management: Case Studies from North West England and Ireland
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The nature conservation, and wider environmental importance of peatlands, particularly in relation to carbon management, has led to there being a growing interest in attempting to manage degraded peatlands in a way that will restore them to fully functioning peatland ecosystems. Much of this management is concerned with the rewetting of these sites therefore it has become important to monitor the surface wetness of these bogs and if possible compare current wetness with previous, pre-damage, conditions. We present previously unpublished case studies of the use of testate amoebae to monitor bog restoration schemes in N.W. England (Holcroft Moss, Cheshire) and Ireland (Ardagullion Bog, Co. Longford). In addition we summarise the key conservation related conclusions of our previously published work on two other sites in N.W England – Astley Moss (in the Chat Moss complex of Greater Manchester) and Danes Moss (Cheshire). At Holcroft the record of lead pollution from the peat core allows us to date recent changes in the testate community preserved in a peat core and relate these to both conservation management and other changes in the landscape around the bog in over the last 50 years. Ardagullion Bog provides an illustration of the utility of using multiple peat cores in the testate monitoring of peat bog restoration and illustrates that a bog that has only suffered limited ‘damage’ is able to be restored to something close to pre damage conditions on a decadal time scale. We also summarise what we see as the main lessons from testate studies of bog restoration – both from the case studies described in this paper and from the wider literature - and discuss the conditions under which testate amoebae may be of particular use in peatland restoration.
07 - 09 - 2015
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