Sphagnum Ecophysiology of Restored, Drained, and Pristine Boreal Spruce Swamp Forests

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


Boreal spruce swamp forests, in their natural state, harbor a large diversity of plant species. However, these swamp forests have been heavily exploited for forestry; in southern Finland for example, 60% to 80% of the original spruce swamp forests have been drained since the 1950s. In recent years, however, restoration of drained spruce swamps has been taking place. As Sphagnum mosses are keystone species in spruce swamp habitats, this study seeks to evaluate the effect of restoration on the ecophysiological functioning of Sphagnum mosses in comparison to pristine and drained sites. Ecophysiological parameters varied strongly between species, with species of wetter habitats exhibiting higher potential photosynthesis rates and lower stress levels, as indicated by chlorophyll fluorescence. Potential photosynthesis was also greatest in restored sites.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress