Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2003Peer reviewed

Status and restoration of peatlands in northern Europe

Vasander H, Tuittila ES, Lode E, Lundin L, Ilomets M, Sallantaus T, Heikkilä R, Pitkänen ML, Laine J


Environmental management of peatlands, landscape ecology and protection of key biotopes have created needs and pressure to restore peatlands to natural ecosystems. Here, we sunnerize different approaches and restoration techniques developed for peatland management in Estonia, Sweden and Finland where peatlands are abundant. without rewetting, plant colonisation on abandoned cut-away areas is slow to harsh hydrological and microclimatic conditions. However, after restoration, cut-away peatlands may return to a functional state close to that of pristine mires, and therefore restore a net carbon sink function within a few years. In addition, restoration techniques can help to create buffer zones between terrestrial and limnic ecosystems that reduces the nutrient loading imposed on watercourses by forestry operations. Restoration may also be important for peatland conservation programs as drained peatlands are part of present and future conservation areas. Finally, restoration actions in themselves can have negative environmental impacts. For instance, inundation of peat surfaces resulting from the rewetting process often increases phosporus leaching. Efforts on peatland restoration should focus on environmental monitoring, reseach on restoration and its environmental impact as well as public relations activities. In that respect, knowledge transfer between academics and managers should generate synergy benefits


Cut-away peatlands; Estonia; Finland; forest drainage; mires; monitoring; Sweden

Published in

Wetlands Ecology and Management
2003, Volume: 11, number: 1-2, pages: 51-63

      SLU Authors

    • Lundin, Lars

      • Department of Forest Soils, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Lode, Elve

        • Department of Forest Soils, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Fish and Aquacultural Science
      Landscape Architecture

      Publication identifier


      Permanent link to this page (URI)