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.
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.
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
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
*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