Fertility of surface peat in relation to the site type and potential stand growth
Fertility of surface peat from sedge pine mires was studied by measuring several edaphic growth factors: bulk density, volume weight of organic matter, ash content, acidity, electric conductivity, effective cation exchange capacity, degree of base saturation, and total contents of N, P, K, Ca and Mg. The 168 temporal sample plots were situated on virgin sedge mires in different parts of Finland, and the 30 permanent sample plots on two uniform sedge mires.
The results showed that peat bulk density and volume weight of organic matter tend to increase with increasing site quality. Ash content increased gradually in the site series from small sedge mire to the herb-rich sedge mire. The relationship between the total content of macronutrients in peat and the site quality is clear. The importance of bulk density in evaluating the site quality is further emphasized when taking into account its significant correlation to contents of N and P. The soil variables follow the accepted quality gradient of the site series. Consequently, the plant sociologically based site classification seems to reflect satisfactorily the average soil properties. However, the within site variation was significant.
Published in 1981