Abstract. Bogs, economically valuable wetlands, are subjected to exploitation in southern Canada. We addressed plant conservation within bogs mined for peat, in which small undisturbed remnants are left, mostly at the margins of the mined areas. The main goal of the study was to test whether these remnants act as refuges for plants which could recolonize areas that are planned for restoration after mining is completed.
Mosses, lichens and vascular plants were sampled in remnants of 24 mined bogs in southeastern Canada during the summer of 1997. The vegetation was also sampled at the margins and centres of 24 nearby natural bogs in plots similar in size to these remnants. Using similarity analysis and ordination techniques, we found that plant species assemblages in remnants of mined bogs differ from those near the margins of natural bogs, and that certain species are associated with the centre of natural bogs, due to the presence of pools. We also showed that water conditions of remnants are affected by drainage due to peat mining. Sphagnum moss showed itself to be a key indicator of mining effects on vegetation. Implications for peat resource management and bog conservation are discussed.