Macroscale variation in peat element concentrations in drained boreal peatland forests
Laiho R., Sarkkola S., Kaunisto S., Laine J., Minkkinen K. (2008). Macroscale variation in peat element concentrations in drained boreal peatland forests. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 4 article id 233. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.233
Information on the variation in soil element concentrations at different spatial scales is needed for, e.g., designing efficient sampling strategies, upscaling the processes related to carbon cycling, and planning land use and management. In spite of intensive land use, such information concerning peat soils is still scarce. We analyzed the variation in peat mineral element concentrations in boreal peatland forests drained 50–60 years earlier. We wanted to quantify the proportions of variation deriving from differences between regions and peatland basins and from within-peatland heterogeneity, and to model the variation using relatively easily measurable site and soil characteristics. We utilized 878 peat samples representing the 0–20 cm layer and collected from 289 sites in 79 peatland basins. The sites represented three different drained peatland forest site types. The two strongest gradients in the element composition captured by principal component analysis were correlated with both the North-South gradient and the site type variation, and the East-West gradient. In general, most of the variation in the element concentrations was contributed by differences among peatland basins, and variation within the floristically determined sites. Most of the element concentrations were best modeled when either the bulk density or the ash content of the peat, or both, were used in addition to site type and geographical location. The explanatory power remained modest for most element concentrations. As for the P concentrations in soil, however, our models provide means for estimating a large part of the variation among drained pine mire sites.
Received 15 February 2008 Accepted 25 August 2008 Published 31 December 2008