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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Bog vegetation re-mapped after 63 and 103 years: expansion of Rhynchospora alba (Studies on Skagershultsmossen 2)

Backéus, Ingvar; Gunnarsson, Urban; Strömquist, Lennart


The vegetation in an area of the ombrotrophic bog Skagershultsmossen, South-Central Sweden, was mapped in 2010. The same area was previously surveyed in 1907 and 1970. Only small changes were found in 1970, in contrast to the situation in 2010, when a large shift in the vegetation was observed. The previously dominating vegetation type, lawns dominated by Eriophorum vaginatum, had more or less disappeared and was replaced by carpet vegetation dominated by Rhynchospora alba, Sphagnum tenellum and S. balticum. Also, the carpets dominated by Scheuchzeria palustris had decreased to a large extent. There are several possible climatic explanations behind the changes, and we suggest that increased frost action linked to the reduction in snow cover may be important. The shift in the vegetation has most certainly led to a decrease in peat productivity and, hence, a reduction in carbon sequestration by the bog is assumed. Skagershultsmossen is an important reference site for future studies of long-term vegetation changes.


frost; long-term study; reduced peat productivity; South-Central Sweden; vegetation shift

Published in

Mires and Peat
2023, Volume: 29, article number: 18

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