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Keywords:

  • Calluna vulgaris;
  • Opencast coal mining;
  • Recolonization;
  • Sphagnum
  • Stace(1997)

Abstract. The decision was taken by an opencast coal mining company to translocate on-site blanket bog vegetation, on completion of mining, at a site in Co. Durham, UK, both to preserve it and to use it to enhance recolonization. The vegetation of the treatments was monitored for seven years after site completion and this paper reports on the progress of the translocated material and its effect on recolonization. Translocation of large turves of blanket bog into carefully prepared receptor cells preserved most of the vegetation intact, but resulted in severe decline in the frequency of Sphagnum, while the design of the receptor site as strips of translocated vegetation enclosing strips of spread, stored peat accelerated recolonization of the intervening bare peat by Calluna vulgaris, but not of other target species. This attempt to translocate blanket bog vegetation and at the same time use it to accelerate recolonization was only partly successful. It was concluded that the ecological requirements of species known to be significant for ecosystem function, such as Sphagnum, must be fulfilled if translocation of blanket bog is to be attempted in future.