University of Oulu

Menberu, M. W., Marttila, H., Tahvanainen, T., Kotiaho, J. S., Hokkanen, R., Kløve, B., & Ronkanen, A.‐K. ( 2017). Changes in pore water quality after peatland restoration: Assessment of a large‐scale, replicated Before‐After‐Control‐Impact study in Finland. Water Resources Research, 53, 8327– 8343.

Changes in pore water quality after peatland restoration : assessment of a large-scale, replicated Before-After-Control-Impact study in Finland

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Author: Menberu, Meseret Walle1; Marttila, Hannu1; Tahvanainen, Teemu2;
Organizations: 1Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Biology, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland
3Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
4Parks & Wildlife Finland (Metsähallitus), Vantaa, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Geophysical Union, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-12-10


Drainage is known to affect peatland natural hydrology and water quality, but peatland restoration is considered to ameliorate peatland degradation. Using a replicated BACIPS (Before‐After‐Control‐Impact Paired Series) design, we investigated 24 peatlands, all drained for forestry and subsequently restored, and 19 pristine control boreal peatlands with high temporal and spatial resolution data on hydroclimate and pore water quality. In drained conditions, total nitrogen (Ntot), total phosphorus (Ptot), and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in pore water were several‐fold higher than observed at pristine control sites, highlighting the impacts of long‐term drainage on pore water quality. In general, pore water DOC and Ntot decreased after restoration measures but still remained significantly higher than at pristine control sites, indicating long time lags in restoration effects. Different peatland classes and trophic levels (vegetation gradient) responded differently to restoration, primarily due to altered hydrology and varying acidity levels. Sites that were hydrologically overrestored (inundated) showed higher Ptot, Ntot, and DOC than well‐restored or insufficiently restored sites, indicating the need to optimize natural‐like hydrological regimes when restoring peatlands drained for forestry. Rich fens (median pH 6.2–6.6) showed lower pore water Ptot, Ntot, and DOC than intermediate and poor peats (pH 4.0–4.6) both before and after restoration. Nutrients and DOC in pore water increased in the first year postrestoration but decreased thereafter. The most important variables related to pore water quality were trophic level, peatland class, water table level, and soil and air temperature.

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Series: Water resources research
ISSN: 0043-1397
ISSN-E: 1944-7973
ISSN-L: 0043-1397
Volume: 53
Issue: 10
Pages: 8327 - 8343
DOI: 10.1002/2017WR020630
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1172 Environmental sciences
218 Environmental engineering
Funding: This study was funded by Maa‐ ja vesitekniikan tuki ry and Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, University of Oulu, Finland.
Copyright information: © 2017. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.