Project properties

Title MSc thesis restoration ecology: reintroducing peatmoss to speed up peatland restoration
Group Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation Group
Project type thesis
Credits 24-39
Supervisor(s) Juul.Limpens@wur.nl, Jose van Paassen
Examiner(s) dr. Juul Limpens
Contact info Juul.Limpens@wur.nl
Begin date 2019/05/01
End date 2023/05/01
Description Peatlands in the Netherlands have become rare. All large reserves are currently incorporated into the Nature 2000 framework and are being managed to stimulate the return of ecosystem engineers: peatmoss.

The problem is that target peatmoss species are relatively slow to return even after restoring hydrological boundary conditions. Peatmosses establish through spores and through fragments. Previous research has shown that establishment through fragments is the most successful. Fragments however, have limited dispersal capacity, suggesting reintroduction may be a good option to speed up the establishment of target species.

In 2017 we established several reintroduction experiments in situations with and without existing vegetation to explore if and how reintroduction will speed up establishment of target peat moss species.
In 2021 we upscaled the experimental results to field scale (0.5 ha) in the Bargerveen: we aim to monitor establishment success and later on development of vegetation and ecosystem functions.

We have room for 1-2 MSc students per year to work in these experiments and measure moss performance in relation to treatments and environment.
Used skills image analyses, fieldwork, environmental characterization
Requirements affinity with field work, independence