eCite Digital Repository

The vulnerability of peatlands in the Australian Alps

Citation

French, BJ and Hope, GS and Prior, LD and Bowman, DMJS, The vulnerability of peatlands in the Australian Alps, Australasian Plant Conservation, 24, (4) pp. 16-18. ISSN 2202-5804 (2016) [Non Refereed Article]


Preview
PDF
Pending copyright assessment - Request a copy
530Kb
  

Abstract

Peatlands are coupled to earth’s wet climates (Whinam et al. 2003). They are formed when inundated plant material decomposes slowly relative to production, causing partially decayed organic matter to accumulate as soil. A high water table allows non-vascular Sphagnum moss species to prevail in many peatlands. Peatlands promote acidic soil conditions, produce decay-resistant biomass, reduce surface runoff and have an exceptionally high water holding capacity, features which stimulate further peat development. Lowering of the peatland water table can accelerate decomposition and cause a shift away from Sphagnum to shrubs or grass. Hence climatic drying or disturbance causing drainage can compromise organic soil accumulation. Hydrological disturbance from activities such as cattle or horse grazing can also damage peatlands through compaction of peat, increased drainage and runoff and soil erosion.

Item Details

Item Type:Non Refereed Article
Keywords:peat
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial Ecology
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Objective Field:Mountain and High Country Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Author:French, BJ (Mr Ben French)
Author:Prior, LD (Dr Lynda Prior)
Author:Bowman, DMJS (Professor David Bowman)
ID Code:120228
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2017-08-16
Last Modified:2017-08-17
Downloads:0

Repository Staff Only: item control page