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Academic & Professional Books  Habitats & Ecosystems  Forests & Wetlands

Mires and Peatlands in Europe Status, Distribution and Conservation

By: Hans Joosten(Editor), Franziska Tanneberger(Editor), Asbjørn Moen(Editor), Council of Europe (CoE)(Foreword By), International Mire Conservation Group (IMCG)(Foreword By)
780 pages, 129 colour photos, b/w maps, 161 tables
Mires and Peatlands in Europe
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  • Mires and Peatlands in Europe ISBN: 9783510653836 Hardback May 2017 In stock
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About this book

The European continent features an impressive variety of mires and peatlands. Polygon, palsa, and aapa mires, concentric and eccentric bogs, spring and percolation fens, coastal marshes, blanket bogs, saline fens, acid, alkaline, nutrient poor, nutrient rich: the peatlands of Europe represent unique ecosystem biodiversity and harbour a large treasure of flora and fauna typical of peat forming environments.

Europe is also the continent with the longest history, the highest intensity, and the largest variety of peatland use, and as a consequence it has the highest proportion of degraded peatlands worldwide. Peatland science and technology developed in parallel to exploitation and it is therefore not surprising that almost all modern peatland terms and concepts originated and matured in Europe.

Their massive degradation also kindled the desire to protect these beautiful landscapes, full of peculiar wildlife. In recent decades attention has widened to include additional vital ecosystem services that natural and restored peatlands provide. Already the first scientific book on peatlands (Schoockius 1658) contained a chapter on restoration. Yet, only now there is a rising awareness of the necessity to conserve and restore mires and peatlands in order to avoid adverse environmental and economic effects.

Mires and Peatlands in Europe provides – for the first time in history – a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of mires and peatlands in biogeographic Europe. Written by 134 authors, the book describes mire and peatland types, terms, extent, distribution, use, conservation, and restoration individually for each country and integrated for the entire continent. Complemented by a multitude of maps and photographs, Mires and Peatlands in Europe offers an impressive and colourful journey, full of surprising historical context and fascinating details, while appreciating the core principles and unifying concepts of mire science.


Foreword by the Council of Europe V
Foreword by the International Mire Conservation Group VI

I. General Part    1

1 Introduction Part I (Hans Joosten, Franziska Tanneberger & Asbjørn Moen) 3

2 Mire diversity in Europe: mire and peatland types (Hans Joosten, Asbjørn Moen, John Couwenberg & Franziska Tanneberger) 5
2.1 Introduction 5
2.2 Principles of classification 5
2.2.1 The purpose of classification and terminology 5
2.2.2 Classification and variables 6
2.2.3 Resolution, hierarchy, and organisational level 8
2.3 Early mire descriptions and classification 9
2.4 Topological classification 10
2.4.1 Introduction 10
2.4.2 Water table in relation to peat formation 10
2.4.3 The origin of the water 10
2.4.4 pH and base saturation 13
2.4.5 Nutrient availability 14
2.4.6 Vegetation composition 14
2.4.7 Physiognomy and Finnish mire site types 21
2.4.8 Ecological mire types and the vegetation form concept 25
2.4.9 Habitat types 25
2.4.10 Peat types and stratigraphy 28
2.4.11 Peat accumulation and peatland degradation 29
2.5 The classification of mire areas and patterns 30
2.5.1 Principles and history 30
2.5.2 Mire eros (picotope) 31
2.5.3 Mire features (nanotope) 31
2.5.4 Mire sites (microtope) 34
2.6 The classification of mire massifs (mesotope) 34
2.6.1 Principles of mire massif classification 34
2.6.2 Topographic (geomorphic) classification 36
2.6.3 (Hydro-)morphic classification 36
2.6.4 Hydrogeomorphic classification 47
2.6.5 Hydrogenetic mire classification 48
2.7 The classification of mire complexes (macrotope) 54
2.8 Towards integration? 63

3 Mire and peatland terms and definitions in Europe (Hans Joosten, John Couwenberg, Asbjørn Moen & Franziska Tanneberger) 65
3.1 Introduction 65
3.2 The justification of chosen definitions 65
3.3 Peatland terms: origins and relations 68
3.3.1 Introduction 68
3.3.2 The diversity and history of peoples in Europe 68
3.3.3 The diversity and history of languages in Europe 69
3.3.4 Peatland terms in Europe 69
3.4 The glossary 74
Annex 87

4 Mire diversity in Europe: mire regionality (Asbjørn Moen, Hans Joosten & Franziska Tanneberger) 97
4.1 Introduction 97
4.2 The abiotic background of spatial diversity 97
4.2.1 Development of mires 97
4.2.2 Climate 98
4.2.3 Landform and elevation 99
4.2.4 Bedrock and substrate 99
4.3 Vegetation as an indicator of spatial diversity 100
4.3.1 Introduction: phytogeography and vegetation regions 100
4.3.2 Floristic phytogeography 101
4.3.3 Vegetational phytogeography 102
4.3.4 Vegetation zones (including belts) 102
4.3.5 Vegetation sections 106
4.3.6 Vegetation ecological regions (zone-sections) 109
4.4 The distribution of peatland/organic soil in Europe 109
4.5 Phytogeography of mire plant species 110
4.5.1 Mire species in general 110
4.5.2 Floristic groups of mire species in Europe 110
4.6 Phytogeography of mire vegetation types 115
4.6.1 Introduction 115
4.6.2 Distribution of ombrotrophic vegetation types 118
4.6.3 Distribution of low sedge/brownmoss fen vegetation 124
4.6.4 Distribution of tall sedge fen vegetation (Phragmito-Magnocaricetae) 125
4.6.5 Distribution of mire freshwater communities 126
4.6.6 Distribution of spring fen vegetation 126
4.6.7 Distribution of deciduous (Alnus) fen woodland 126
4.6.8 Distribution of boreal fen woodland 127
4.6.9 Distribution of halophytic fens 127
4.7 Distribution of hydromorphological mire types 128
4.7.1 Introduction 128
4.7.2 Arctic seepage and guanogenic mire 128
4.7.3 Polygon mire 128
4.7.4 Palsa mire 129
4.7.5 String-fl ark fen and mixed mire 130
4.7.6 Sloping fen >6° 131
4.7.7 Typical raised bog sensu stricto (domed) 131
4.7.8 Rim raised bog 132
4.7.9 Atlantic raised bog 133
4.7.10 Blanket bog sensu stricto 134
4.7.11 Other types 134
4.8 The mire regions of Europe 134
4.8.1 Introduction 134
4.8.2 Main criteria and literature used 135
4.8.3 List and map of mire regions 135
4.8.4 Arctic seepage and polygon mire region (I) 136
4.8.5 Palsa mire region (II) 138
4.8.6 Northern fen region (III) 138
4.8.7 Typical raised bog region (IV) 140
4.8.8 Atlantic bog region (V) 142
4.8.9 Continental fen and bog region (VI) 144
4.8.10 Nemoral-submeridional fen region (VII) 144
4.8.11 Colchis mire region (VIII) 145
4.8.12 Southern European marsh region (IX) 145
4.8.13 Central and southern European mountain compound region (X) 147

5 Peatland use in Europe (Hans Joosten & Franziska Tanneberger) 151
5.1 Introduction 151
5.2 The collection of food and fodder 152
5.2.1 Wild animals, plants, and mushrooms 152
5.2.2 Livestock grazing on near-natural peatlands 152
5.2.3 Litter and hay from near-natural fens 153
5.2.4 Intentional transformation 153
5.2.5 The cultivation of crops 157
5.3 Peat extraction 160
5.3.1 Introduction 160
5.3.2 Peat for fuel 160
5.3.3 Peat as fertiliser 163
5.3.4 Peat as bedding material 164
5.3.5 Peat for growing media 164
5.3.6 Peat for other uses 165
5.4 Other materials and fuels 166
5.4.1 Examples of peat-conserving use 166
5.4.2 Examples of peat-consuming use 168
5.5 The use of space 169
5.6 The exploitation of regulating services 171
5.7 Peatland use related to cultural services 171
5.8 Conclusions 172

6 Mire and peatland conservation in Europe (Franziska Tanneberger, Hans Joosten, Asbjørn Moen & Jennie Whinam) 173
6.1 Introduction 173
6.2 Protection of single mire sites or species 173
6.2.1 First designations of mire reserves 173
6.2.2 Site designation for species conservation 174
6.2.3 National strategies for site and species conservation 174
6.2.4 International policies for site and species conservation 175
6.3 Protection of mire landscapes and ecosystems 176
6.4 Protection of mires and broader ecosystem services 177
6.4.1 Key assessments of peatland ecosystem services 177
6.4.2 Mire conservation focusing on cultural services 177
6.4.3 Mire conservation focusing on provisioning services 179
6.4.4 Mire conservation focusing on regulating services 179
6.4.5 International policy instruments recognising broader ecosystem services 180
6.5 Protection of mires within international networks 182
6.5.1 Networks of protected peatlands to ensure completeness or representativeness 182
6.5.2 Networks of protected peatlands to ensure functional coherence 182
6.6 Peatland restoration 182
6.6.1 Hydrological restoration 182
6.6.2 Habitat restoration and maintenance by recurrent management 184
6.7 Current threats and future priorities 193
6.7.1 Current threats 193
6.7.2 Priorities in mire conservation, restoration, and research in Europe 195
References Part I 197

II. Country chapters 231

Introduction Part II (Franziska Tanneberger & Hans Joosten) 233
Albania (Spase Shumka) 237
Andorra (Anna Moles Mariné, Jean-Jacques Lazare & Sergi Riba Mazas) 243
Armenia (Karen Jenderedjian) 250
Austria (Franz Essl & Gert Michael Steiner) 257
Azerbaijan (Jonathan Etzold, Annett Thiele, Jan Peper, Marlen Schlöffel & Shahin Isayev) 266
Azores (Cândida F.M. Mendes & Eduardo M.F. Dias) 282
Belarus (Nikolay Bambalov, Nina Tanovitskaya, Alexander Kozulin & Vyacheslav Rakovich) 288
Belgium (Philippe Frankard, Desiré Paelinckx, Cécile Wastiaux & Réne Schumacker) 299
Bosnia and Herzegovina (Ðordije Milanovic) 310
Bulgaria (Anna Ganeva, Iva Apostolova, Ivanka Stefanova & Hristo Pedashenko) 319
Croatia (Antun Alegro & Jasenka Topic) 329
Cyprus (Phivos Ioannides, Pinelopi Delipetrou, Charalampos Christodoulou & Athina Papatheodoulou) 336
Czech Republic (Kamil Rybnícek, Jana Navrátilová, Iva Bufková & Andrea Kucerová) 340
Denmark (Mette Risager, Bent Aaby & Mogens Humlekrog Greve) 352
Estonia (Mati Ilomets) 360
Faroe Islands (Kevin J. Edwards & Anna Maria Fosaa) 372
Finland (Tapio Lindholm & Raimo Heikkilä) 376
France (Philippe Julve & Francis Muller) 395
Georgia (Matthias Krebs, Izolda Matchutadze, Tamar Bakuradze & Roland Kaiser) 403
Germany (Michael Trepel, Jörg Pfadenhauer, Jutta Zeitz & Lebrecht Jeschke) 413
Greece (Kimon Christanis) 425
Hungary (Erzsébet Szurdoki, Rozália Érdiné Szekeres, Krisztina Koczka, András Bohm, Attila Molnár
& Nóra Hubayné Horváth) 432
Iceland (Þóra Ellen Þórhallsdóttir & Hlynur Óskarsson) 441
Ireland (Peter Foss & Catherine O’Connell) 449
Italy (Luca Bragazza, Cesare Lasen, Renato Gerdol & Elisabetta Novello) 462
Latvia (Mara Pakalne & Olgerts Aleksans) 478
Liechtenstein (Holger Frick) 486
Lithuania (Pranas Mierauskas & Julius Taminskas) 489
Luxembourg (Philippe Frankard, Guy Colling, Simone Schneider, Nora Elvinger & Cécile Wastiaux) 498
Republic of Macedonia (Ljupcho Melovski & Vlado Matevski) 504
Malta (Sylvia M. Haslam) 509
Republic of Moldova (Gennadiy Sîrodoev, Tatiana Izverscaia & Tatiana Belous) 513
Montenegro (Darko Saveljic) 519
Netherlands (Hans Joosten, Ab Grootjans, Matthijs Schouten & André Jansen) 523
Norway (Asbjørn Moen, Andres Lyngstad & Dag-Inge Øien) 536
Poland (Wiktor Kotowski, Wieslaw Dembek & Pawel Pawlikowski) 549
Portugal (José Mateus, Paula Queiroz & Hans Joosten) 572
Romania (Sorin Stefanut & Roxana Ion) 580
Russian Federation (European Part) (Andrey Sirin, Tatiana Minayeva, Tatiana Yurkovskaya,
Oleg Kuznetsov, Viktor Smagin & Yury Fedotov) 589
Serbia (Predrag Lazarevic) 617
Slovakia (Viera Šefferová Stanová & Michal Hájek) 625
Slovenia (Andrej Martincic & Peter Skoberne) 633
Spain (Patxi Heras Pérez, Marta Infante Sánchez, Xabier Pontevedra-Pombal & Juan Carlos Nóvoa-Muñoz) 639
Svalbard (Arve Elvebakk & Asbjørn Moen) 657
Sweden (Michael Löfroth) 664
Switzerland (Meinrad Küchler, Margrit von Euw, Helen Küchler, Angéline Bedolla & Klaus Ecker) 676
Turkey (Simay Kirca, Alper H. Çolak, Turhan Günay & Ian D. Rotherham) 684
Ukraine (Iaroslav Movchan, Hryhorij Parchuk & Liudmila Vakarenko) 691
United Kingdom (Richard A. Lindsay & Jack Clough) 705

Acknowledgements 721
List of Contributors 723
Register of authors, persons, and references 729
Topographical register of Part I 752
Register of botanical taxa and syntaxa 755
General register 767

Customer Reviews

By: Hans Joosten(Editor), Franziska Tanneberger(Editor), Asbjørn Moen(Editor), Council of Europe (CoE)(Foreword By), International Mire Conservation Group (IMCG)(Foreword By)
780 pages, 129 colour photos, b/w maps, 161 tables
Media reviews

"[...] With this book we have for the fiist time a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of European mires and peatlands in their biogeographic, cultural, and ecological context. The multi-authored [book] is very well presented and the text is complemented by many maps, photographs, tables and notes [...] , At the same time, this is a unique bringing together of the core principles and the unifying concepts of mire and peatland science. The book will be essential reading for those directly involved in peatlands, bogs, and mires. and deserves to be read more widely too."
– Ian D. Rotherham, BES Bulletin, 49(1)

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