Current issue: 54(2)
The determination of biologically most favourable strip width in peatlands to be drained has been hindered by lack of information of the temperature conditions in the surface peat and in the air close to the ground after drainage of different intensities. Temperature measurements were carried out on peatlands drained to different degrees in Central Finland in the summers of 1960 and 1961. The ground water level in the measuring points, and the strip width served as the criterion for differences in water condition.
When the drainage became more intensive, the temperature of the surface peat decreased. However, temperature differences were small, and discernible only when the differences of water conditions were considerable. The effect of strip condition to temperature seems to be of similar nature than the ground water level. Even in extreme cases temperature differences due to different drainage intensity were relatively small, and seldom exceeded 2°C.
Differences in temperature dependent on the growing stock may be as high as 10°C. Thus, the temperature of the surface peat may be dependent on factors more important than temperature differences caused by aspects of drainage. A well-drained peatland is coldest at the beginning of a growing season compared with poorly drained peatland. The temperature differences increase deeper in the peat. This is caused by the better heat conductivity of the moist peat. Also, daily variations in temperature in the surface peat are large in moist peat.
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