Peatlands – and specifically "bogs" – have long been a source of fascination for humans, and these amazing places are truly living relics of the Ice Age. More recently, bogs have come to be regarded as complex and fascinating wetland ecosystems. Peatlands of Ohio and the Southern Great Lakes Region focuses on the sphagnum peat bogs and rich fens of the lower Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, southern Michigan, and the glaciated northern corners of Pennsylvania.
The peatlands of today are products of the Wisconsinan Glaciation, when peatland plants originating in northern latitudes migrated southward in a wide band preceding the glacial wall of ice. After thousands of years, the glacier's retreat severely diminished the sites with the very special environmental conditions needed to sustain these ecosystems.
However, in a few sites, kettle hole lakes and cold alkaline hillside seeps and springs enabled remnants of peatland vegetation to survive to this day. Guy L. Denny, with accompanying photographs by Gary Meszaros, closely examines this habitat and its special environmental constraints, the geological and climatological origins, and the flora and fauna unique to the bogs and rich fens of this region. As readers will discover as they learn about places like Cranberry Bog in Michigan or Triangle Lake in Ohio, kettle hole sphagnum peat bogs and rich fens are not only essential places to protect, but they are amazing sites to explore, discover new plants, and observe the beauty and splendour of the natural world.