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Nature management actions at Amalva site

Large-scale nature management actions started in August in the Amalva peatland site (Southern Lithuania). In order to improve the habitat status, tree cuttings in 200 ha area will be performed. The removal of tree biomass will be followed by dam construction and further improvement of Amalva raised bog, which is part of huge protected mire complex – Žuvintas biosphere reserve. Before the large-scale reclamation actions which were implemented during the 1970’s, the southern part of Amalavas raised bog was mainly characterized by open raised bog habitats. Currently the site is mostly overgrown by birch and willow trees.

Typical open raised bog habitats were replaced by birch trees after land reclamation in 1970’s. Photo by Ž. Sinkevičius

Increment of tree growth indicates the degradation of raised bog habitats and negative changes in hydrological conditions (i.e. lower water levels). Trees evaporate additional water amounts in the bogs; due to this water loss, mineralization processes accelerate. Therefore, tree clearing improves hydrological conditions, by reducing the loss of water from tree evaporation and contributes to the improvement of raised bogs habitats. Additionally, these actions create habitats for rare bird species.

Tree cuttings in Amalva site. Photo by Ž. Sinkevičius
Tree cuttings in Amalva site. Photo by Ž. Sinkevičius

These actions will be implemented based on a cooperation agreement between Lithuanian Fund for Nature, Directorate of Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve and State Forestry Enterprise. The work is supervised by the Directorate of Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve, which is responsible for coordinating the implementation of nature management measures.