University of Oulu

Küttim, M, Küttim, L, Ilomets, M, Laine, AM. Controls of Sphagnum growth and the role of winter. Ecological Research. 2020; 35: 219– 234.

Controls of Sphagnum growth and the role of winter

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Author: Küttim, Martin1; Küttim, Liisa1; Ilomets, Mati1;
Organizations: 1Institute of Ecology, School of Natural Sciences and Health, Tallinn University,Tallinn, Estonia
2Department of Ecology and Genetics, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3School of Forest Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2020
Publish Date: 2022-02-25


Sphagnum is the major genus in northern peatlands that contributes to peat formation and carbon sequestration. Sphagnum growth in summer has been fairly well studied but the information about growth in autumn and winter is limited. Therefore, we studied how the growth of Sphagnum is seasonally distributed with a particular interest on possible winter growth. The linear increment and biomass production of three Sphagum species was measured in three Northern European bogs over a year. In all sites, our results indicate the highest annual linear increment in S. angustifolium (28 mm), followed by S. magellanicum (20 mm) and S. fuscum (13 mm), but the biomass production was fairly even among the species (189, 192 and 215 g m−2, respectively). Both linear increment and biomass production depended mostly on meteorological parameters rather than ecophysiological or microsite properties. The seasonal measurements revealed a significant linear increment and biomass production during the winter that accounted for ca. 10% and ca. 5% from the annual values, respectively. Moreover, the mean daily rates of linear increment in autumn often exceeded the increment in summer. Our results thus indicate the ability for year-around growth of Sphagna if the conditions are favorable, including during boreal winter.

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Series: Ecological research
ISSN: 0912-3814
ISSN-E: 1440-1703
ISSN-L: 0912-3814
Volume: 35
Issue: 1
Pages: 219 - 234
DOI: 10.1111/1440-1703.12074
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: Archmedes Foundation (Dora programme); Centre of Excellence “Natural Sciences and Sustainable Development” at Tallinn University; Eesti Teadusagentuur, Grant/Award Number: Institutional Grant “Enchanted” (IUT 18-9); Eesti Teadusfondi, Grant/Award Number: grant 9070; Estonian Doctoral School of Earth Sciences and Ecology; Koneen Säätiö; Suomen Akatemia, Grant/Award Number: project code 287039.
Copyright information: © 2019 The Ecological Society of Japan. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Küttim, M, Küttim, L, Ilomets, M, Laine, AM. Controls of Sphagnum growth and the role of winter. Ecological Research. 2020; 35: 219– 234, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.