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A reappraisal of the mechanisms leading to ombrotrophy in British raised mires

Authors


Paul D.M. Hughes E-mail: Paul.Hughes@soton.ac.uk

Abstract

Previous theories of raised mire initiation stress the role of autogenic processes aided by climatic forcing towards increased oceanicity. Recent evidence from stratigraphic surveys in Great Britain and Ireland, however, suggests that raised mire initiation can occur under conditions of falling or fluctuating water tables. Macrofossil assemblages from the lowermost raised peat strata can indicate repeated aeration of the newly formed peat surface. A previously unexplored mechanism for the fen-bog transition is discussed. New research is needed to assess its importance since a sound understanding of the way in which raised mires first formed is important for mire rehabilitation and conservation.

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