Peatland Ecology Research Group (PERG)
Université Laval
The peat industry


After harvesting the peat in bogs, very large areas are left to themselves. Because of, among other things, drainage and erosion of the residual peat by wind, typical bog plants have difficulty relocating. Without help from us, the site may lie fallow for several years, and perhaps never becomes a bog again.

The North American restoration technique consists to spread fragments of mosses, called diaspores, on the abandoned bog, in a ratio of about 1:10. This plant material is often collected in a bog being harvested. We then spread a layer of straw mulch on the fragments of mosses to protect them from drought. Finally, we block the drainage ditches to re-wet the site.

This technique has proven itself and allows the return of bog plants and an accumulation system of peat (and therefore carbon) after 3-15 years. Since peat accumulates very slowly (0.5 to 1 mm per year), it will not be possible to harvest again restored bogs. The importance of this activity lies in the conservation of biodiversity and the return of bog functions within a region.

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