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LIFE “Peat Restore” project results presented at the International Scientific Conference at the University of Latvia

Traditionally, the International Scientific Conference of the University of Latvia is held at the beginning of year, now already for the 79th time. Topics from all scientific fields are discussed during 130 sessions from January until March. In 2021 two presentations were given by the LIFE “Peat Restore” project Latvian team.

Visually, the landscape of fens in Engure Nature Park have not changed significantly since 1988, still the dominance of Cladium mariscus has drastically increased, thus placing the protected Schoenus ferrugineus under stress.

On February 4, at the Conference session “Plant breeding and introduction” results of vegetation composition succession during more than 30 years in Engure Lake Nature Park alkaline fens with Schoenus ferrugineus and Cladium mariscus were presented by the project experts M. Pakalne, A. Priede and L. Strazdiņa. Engure Nature Park is the project site where the most suitable management (tree and bush removal and plastic dam building on drainage ditches) was decided based on vegetation survey to protect habitats and species of European importance – 7230 Alkaline fens, 7210* calcareous fens with Cladium mariscus and the species of the plat association Caricion davallianae with orchid species, such as Liparis loeselii, Ophrys insectifera and Dactylorhiza cruenta.

Ophrys insectifera is found only in three places in Latvia, Engure Nature Park is one of them.

On January 28, results of raised bog restoration after drainage with interaction of peatland fire in Saklaura Mire were presented at the session “Ecosystems and Fires”. Talks were given by project experts L. Strazdiņa and M. Pakalne. Experience gained in this project was used in the management in the LIFE project “Peat Restore” where the raised bog hydrology was restored in Augstroze Nature Reserve.

Survey in Saklaura Mire proved that drainage can significantly increase the risk of fire in bogs. One more reason to restore the hydrology in the framework of Peat Restore project in drained part of Madiešēnu Mire in Augtroze Nature Reserve.

Presentations, Thesis and full program of each session are available here: