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Short-term Effects of Shallow Sphagnum Moss Biomass Harvesting on the Runoff Water Quality
International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis
Volume 7, Issue 1, February 2019, Pages: 34-39
Received: Apr. 5, 2019; Accepted: Jun. 10, 2019; Published: Jun. 27, 2019
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Niko Silvan, Department of Bio-based Business and Industry, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Parkano, Finland
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White horticultural peat is proven to be a superior growing medium. It is microbiologically active, it binds nutrients and water significantly due to its favorable cation exchange capacity and porosity. Unfortunately, horticultural peat is a very slowly renewable biomass, and good quality horticultural peat is not so common even in peatland-rich countries. Therefore, good-quality and simultaneously renewable growing media alternatives are needed. A new growing medium introduced in recent years is based on Sphagnum moss biomass. According to our results, shallow Sphagnum moss biomass harvesting extended down to a depth of not over 30 cm did not cause any harmful effects on watercourses during the short-term period after harvesting. On the contrary, it is well-known that traditional peat extraction increases the leaching of suspended solids, dissolved organic carbon and nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus into watercourses located downstream. The leaching of SS, DOC and nutrients from peat extraction areas is a significant local problem, since the nutrient leaching may cause enhanced eutrophication and decreased biodiversity, especially in vulnerable headwaters. Because of the probably negligible harmful effects on the water quality, Sphagnum moss biomass can be considered as a truly environmental-friendly growing medium compared with the conventionally extracted white horticultural peat.
Renewable Growing Medium, Sphagnum Mosses, Sphagnum Moss Biomass Harvesting, Water Quality
To cite this article
Niko Silvan, Short-term Effects of Shallow Sphagnum Moss Biomass Harvesting on the Runoff Water Quality, International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis. Vol. 7, No. 1, 2019, pp. 34-39. doi: 10.11648/j.ijema.20190701.15
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This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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