James H C Fenton ECOLOGIST www.fenton.scot
Peat bogs have always been a main interest of mine
The growth and development of temperate ombrotrophic peat I am currently writing a book on the instigation of peat, peat growth, pool development and peat erosion. It will take a year or so …
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 2mb Visual comparison of carbon stored in peat bogs and in commercial forests This illustrates how peat of c.10cm depth stores as much carbon as a commercial plantation .pdf 3 mb See my paper: The rate of peat accumulation in Antarctic moss banks Journal of Ecology, 1980, Vol.68, No, 1, pp. 211-228 See peat aspects of my New Paradigm Download an illustrated article on my work as a British Antarctic Survey botanist studying Antarctic moss peat
Meanwhile the following two interim papers will be of interest: Observations on Peat Growth and Long-term Peatland Cycles in Scotland Over long timescales peat bogs are dynamic entitites, going through periods of growth and erosion. Page 9 of this document also shows how the type of vegetation cover can indicate whether a given bog is actively sequestrating carbon, only storing it, or actively liberating it: a topical issue. However peat bogs can be complex and, on a landscape scale, all the above can be happening in different places so it can be difficult to determine the overall impact of the peatland on the carbon budget. pdf, 9 pages, 2mb, written in 2014
From Pools to Peat Hags: the Later Stages of Peat Bog Development A new hypothesis for the orientation and expansion of pools in temperate blanket and raised bogs The origin of the pools which occur in regular patterns on peat bogs (‘patterned bogs’) has always been a matter of debate amongst peatland ecologists. This paper presents a new hypothesis for their formation, with two insights: 1. The surface of the bog (the acrotelm) can deform under gravity: on slopes it can form a regular wave pattern, giving rise to parallel pools; on level ground it deforms randomly, giving rise to round pools (‘dubh lochs’). 2. Hollows or pools with dense Sphagnum lawns, instead of indicating areas of high peat accumulation, indicate areas of low or negative accumulation – which is one reason why pools expand over time. This is counter-intuitive. pdf, 36 pages, 7mb, written in 2014