University of Oulu

Vegetational and landscape level responses to water level fluctuations in Finnish, mid-boreal aapa mire – aro wetland environments

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Author: Laitinen, Jarmo1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 7.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2008
Publish Date: 2008-09-09
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic dissertation to be presented, with the assent of the Faculty of Science of the University of Oulu, for public defence in Kuusamonsali (Auditorium YB210), Linnanmaa, on September 19th, 2008, at 12 noon
Reviewer: Professor Håkan Rydin
Research director Heikki Toivonen


Gradient, which is largely considered to be related to water level in mires, is referred to as a microtopographic mud bottom to carpet to lawn to hummock level gradient or the hummock level to intermediate level (lawn) to flark level gradient. The relationship of this vegetation gradient to various physical water level characteristics was studied.

The general classification used in the present summary paper divides the aro vegetation of the inland of Northern Ostrobothnia into two main groups: (a) treeless fen aro vegetation (Juncus supinus, Carex lasiocarpa, Rhynchospora fusca, Molinia caerulea) and (b) heath aro vegetation (Polytrichum commune). The first group (a) was divided into fen aro wetlands with an approximately10 cm peaty layer at most and into aro fens with a peat layer thicker than 10 cm.

The treatment of the water level gradient was divided into three main groups. (1) The mean water level correlated with mire surface levels (microtopographic gradient) within mires with slight water level fluctuations and partly within mires with considerable water level fluctuations. (2) Three habitat groups could be distinguished on the basis of the range of water level fluctuation i.e. mires with slight water level fluctuations, mires with considerable water level fluctuations and the aro vegetation with extreme water level fluctuations. (3) The timing of water level fluctuations indicated that there are different types of patterns within aro wetlands, the seasonal pattern being mainly a response to yearly snow melt and the several-year-fluctuation pattern being related to the regional groundwater table fluctuation in mineral soils (heath forests). A link was suggested between the stability of the water regime and peat production in local aapa mire – aro wetland environments. From the point of view of peatland plants the direction of variation from a stable to an unstable water regime in aapa mire – aro wetland environments represents a transition towards more and more harsh ecological conditions, partly forming a gradient through natural disturbance.

A qualitative functional model was provided for the mire – aro wetland systems of Northern Ostrobothnia. The model supposes differences in the characteristics of peat between two functional complexes within a mire system. Finally, the model for local mire – aro wetland systems was converted to a general from: diplotelmic (acrotelm) mires were divided into two subtypes (diplotelmic water stabilization mires, diplotelmic water fluctuation mires) and the relationship of those subtypes to percolation mires and seasonal wetlands was considered.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. A, Scientiae rerum naturalium
ISSN-E: 1796-220X
ISBN: 978-951-42-8879-1
ISBN Print: 978-951-42-8878-4
Issue: 513
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2008. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.