Restoration of Burns Bog : cumulative moisture deficit as an indicator of vegetation recovery and peat growth
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Burns Bog covers approximately 3,000 hectares between the Fraser River and Boundary Bay in Delta, BC. An ecologically unique ecosystem, its hydrology and ecology have been widely disturbed. Hydrology strongly shapes the character and distribution of vegetation and Sphagnum growth. This study investigated measures of hydrology, including water table residence times and cumulative moisture deficits, to quantify intuitive relationships between moisture stress and ecological zones. Regression analysis of quantitative field observations reveal statistically significant relationships between cumulative moisture deficits and several key bog plant species and Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) diameter at breast height, signifying that these relationships can be used to predict the potential for vegetation recovery. Sphagnum height measurements reveal the unexpected observation that most growth occurs during the cool moist winter and early spring. This study contributes to the hydrological management of Burns Bog and will help to guide the location and mechanisms of restoration efforts.
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