Under certain conditions, the restoration of a cutaway peatland to a Sphagnum dominated peatland is not possible. For example, donor site for natural bog plant material might not be available locally, the rewetting process might be too complex or the peat substrate has been completely extracted leaving a clay or sandy subsoil. When restoration can not be implemented or is non-desirable, reclamation by which another vocation to the site is given might be considered. The main objectives of reclamation is the stabilization of the soil surface, assurance of public safety, aesthetic improvement, and usually a return of the land to what, within the regional context, is considered to be a useful purpose.
Some interesting options for cutaway peatlands are plantation of shrubs and trees and berries production. As the peat mining is a relatively young industry that has begun on a large-scale basis only in the 1950s, few peat fields have been abandoned so far. Consequently, very little expertise has been developed in the field of peatland reclamation in Canada. Collaboration with Northern Europe scientists and engineers is essential.
This research program is part of the Industrial Research Chair in Peatland Management. We want to assess the potential for shrub and tree plantations (larch, spruce, pine, etc.) and for production of berries (cloudberry, chokeberry, etc.) on cutover and cutaway peatlands in Canada.