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Keywords:

  • Biebrza;
  • Bog;
  • Fen;
  • Flood-plain;
  • P/N ratio;
  • Peatland;
  • Poland

Abstract. The above-ground standing crop and nutrient concentrations in plant material were examined in 45 stands of mire vegetation in the Biebrza peatland, Poland. The stands included flood-plains, rich fens, transitional fens and bogs. The pattern in nutrient concentrations in the above-ground plant material resembled the pattern in nutrient concentrations in peatwater and peat which had been investigated in an earlier study. Concentrations of N were quite uniform along the gradient. P-concentrations were highest in the transitional fen. Critical nutrient concentrations were defined on the basis of a review of nutrient concentrations in plant material from peatlands in which a fertilization experiment had been carried out. Defined critical values for phanerogams were: 13-14 and 0.7 mg/g dry wt for N and P respectively. Concentrations lower than these values indicate deficiency. P/N ratios ≥ 0.07 indicate N-deficiency and P/N ratios ≤ 0.04 — 0.05 indicate P-deficiency. According to these values the Biebrza fens and bogs appear to be primarily deficient in N. The growth of the flood-plain vegetation does not appear to be restricted by nutrients.