scientific papers
James Fenton
*June 2022* The contribution of Antarctic moss peat to the understanding of global peatland processes Antarctic Science Vol.34, Issue 3, June 2022, pp. 266 - 278
Other Antarctic papers 1978. The Growth of Antarctic Moss Peat Banks. PhD thesis, Westfield College, University of London, 162 pages. Google Scholar 1980. The rate of peat accumulation in Antarctic moss banks. Journal of Ecology, 68, 211–228. 1982a. The formation of vertical edges on Antarctic moss peat banks. Arctic and Alpine Research, 14, 21–26. Google Scholar 1982b: Vegetation re-exposed after burial by ice and its relationship to changing climate in the South Orkney Islands. British Antarctic Survey Bulletin, 51, 247-255. URI 1983. Concentric fungal rings in Antarctic moss communities. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 80, 415-420. Fenton, J.H.C. & Smith, R.I.L. 1982. Distribution, composition and general characteristics of the moss banks of the maritime Antarctic. British Antarctic Survey Bulletin, 51, 215–236.
“This book is essential reading for all students of peatlands and peat who want to have a detailed understanding of the processes of peat instigation, accumulation, lifetime changes and pressures, pool formation, erosion, degradation and decay, and potential for regrowth.” From the review in International Peatlands 3, 2021 by Jack Rieley, International Peatland Society "How I wish this book had been published decades ago when I studied peatland ecology as a final year degree module under the lively tuition of Alan Silverside ... another peatland expert, David Goode, urged me to read the book, commenting, ‘It's unusual, and extremely interesting.’ I agree ... If you are interested in peatlands read this book – you may disagree with some of the interpretations, but the key point is it will challenge and inform your understanding of the life and death of bogs." Des Thompson, The Niche 53(2), Summer 2022
2008. A postulated natural origin for the open landscape of upland Scotland Plant Ecology & Diversity 1(1): 115-127.
The State of Highland Birchwoods The report of the 1984 survey of birchwoods in Highland Region for the Scottish Wildlife Trust. 36 pages. Download here 5mb
Abstract The concept of woodland being the climax community in temperate ecosystems has a long history but, where grazing animals play a major role in determining the vegetation pattern of a region, there are plausible ecological explanations of why this might not always be the case. If the carrying capacity of the vegetation for herbivores is significantly higher than the level of grazing necessary to allow the survival of young trees, then there is a low probability of woodland surviving in the landscape – unless the young trees are protected from grazing in some way. Where herbivores are naturally present, regeneration is only possible if young trees are protected by thorny shrubs, winter snow cover, rough topography, or the conditions are so optimal for young trees so that the probability of a proportion surviving browsing is high. The Scottish Highlands are presented as an example of an open moorland landscape where trees are no longer the climax vegetation because young trees have no natural protection from grazing; indeed, an open landscape is to be expected at this, the oligocratic phase of postglacial succession, where the evidence suggests a long period of natural woodland regression from a postglacial maximum. The moorland vegetation characteristic of the Scottish Highlands is more resilient than woodland over long time-scales because, to persist in the landscape, woodland always has a sensitive period when young trees have to out-compete the other vegetation without being browsed.
*NEW January 2023* The Role of Grazing in Maintaining Open Landscapes in Temperate Regions International Journal of Environmental Sciences & Natural Resources Volume 31 Issue 3 – January 2023, 17 pages Open Access – Download here DOI: 10.19080/IJESNR.2022.31.556320