Microclimate and Water Conditions of an Extracted and Natural Raised Bog
 
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1
Department of Ecology, Climatology and Air Protection, Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Land Surveying, University of Agriculture in Krakow, Al. Mickiewicza 24-28, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
2
Department of Land Reclamation and Environmental Development, Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Land Surveying, University of Agriculture in Krakow, Al. Mickiewicza 24-28, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Ewelina Zając   

University of Agriculture in Krakow, Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Land Surveying, Department of Land Reclamation and Environmental Development, Al. Mickiewicza 24-28, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
Publication date: 2020-10-01
 
J. Ecol. Eng. 2020; 21(7):115–123
 
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ABSTRACT
The aim of the study was to assess hydrological and microclimatic parameters in areas at different stages of succession after the discontinuation of peat extraction relative to the conditions on a natural raised bog (Orawa-Nowy Targ Basin, Poland). Understanding these conditions is necessary for the effective reclamation of degraded peatlands. Three measurement points were designated in the study area: one on the non-degraded dome of the bog and two in post-mining areas in different stages of succession (Sector A with pine and birch woodland; Sector B with cotton-grass and ericaceous shrubs). Continuous measurements of water table level, precipitation and air temperature and humidity were performed between May and October in the years 2016. The air temperature throughout the warm half of the year significantly influenced groundwater levels, as it is the main factor directly affecting evapotranspiration. The effect of the amount of rainfall on the water level proved significant in the post-mining areas, but not significant for the dome of the bog. In the conditions of an undegraded peat bog, the upper layer, consisting of live and partially decomposed Sphagnum mosses, limits water level fluctuations by reducing evaporation from the surface during periods of low water levels, which is caused by a high water storage capacity and reduced infiltration. In advanced stages of secondary forest succession, trees reduce evapotranspiration from the surface, which reduces fluctuations in the water level; however, by taking up a large amount of water from the deeper layers, they lower it significantly. The greatest effect of weather conditions on water level fluctuations occurs at the stage in which the bog is overgrown by shrubs, when there is no natural peat layer, and the impact of shrubs is much smaller than that of trees.