James H C Fenton ECOLOGIST www.fenton.scot
Peat bogs have always been a main interest of mine
An Illustrated Book of Peat. The life and death of bogs: A new synthesis Published 15 March 2021
The focus of this book is on temperate blanket peat and raised bogs, for which the British Isles are a world centre. Peatlands are much in the public eye these days owing to the important role of peat bogs in carbon storage and sequestration, and their impact on climate change. Soft material such as peat cannot go on getting thicker for ever, but goes through millennial cycles of growth and erosion. The first three sections of the book look at the long-term dynamic of peat bogs, including why peat forms, how bogs expand in area, why pools form, and the different ways erosion can set in. They include new theories on peat instigation, pool development and erosion processes. Part 4 relates these processes to land use and climate change, and will be of particular interest to those managing bogs or creating policies for land and carbon management. Appendix G indicates how a carbon calculator can be created to aid the assessment of a peatland’s carbon balance, and also for comparison of the carbon storage potential of peat bogs and woodlands. The two-volume set also covers Antarctic moss peat, perhaps the simplest peat-forming system in the world, the study of which can aid the understanding of peat growth generally. The types of peat in the Falkland Islands are covered as well. The 200 pages of this book contain several hundred photographs and diagrams to aid the understanding of peatland processes, some of which are not intuitive. It is targeted at both the specialist and non-specialist, and is essential reading for all those involved in peatland management and policy.
The Royal Scottish Geographical Society has kindly subsidised the printing of this book, enabling the price to be kept below £20 and thereby making it more easily accessible.
Click here for  pictures of Antarctic peat  See also: The Upland Ecology of Scotland: a Review of the Favourable Condition Approach in Relation to Grazing and Carbon Storage This includes a discussion of peat’s role in carbon sequestration & storage  .pdf 2mbSee my paper: The rate of peat accumulation in Antarctic moss banks Journal of Ecology, 1980, Vol.68, No, 1, pp. 211-228 Download an illustrated article on my work as a British Antarctic Survey botanist studying Antarctic moss peat   A peat bog in the Falkland Islands The author on a Wester Ross bog
Highlights from the book, particularly where they relate to new thinking on peatland processes, can be downloaded here
“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
29 April 2022 New paper by James Fenton published in Antarctic Science The contribution of Antarctic moss peat to the understanding of global peatland processes