Water Stewardship Information Sources

Citation Howie, SA, Whitfield, PH, Hebda, RJ, Munson, TG, Dakin, RA and Jeglum, JK. 2009. Water table and vegetation response to ditch blocking: Restoration of a raised bog in southwestern British Columbia. Canadian Water Resources Journal 34:381-392.
Organization Corporation of Delta
URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.4296/cwrj3404381
Abstract/Description or Keywords Large-scale peat harvesting operations alter hydrology of raised bogs so that natural regeneration
may not occur without altering the water table. This paper describes efforts to restore key hydrologic
and ecologic processes in a southwest BC raised bog (Burns Bog) highly disturbed by decades of peat
extraction, drainage, filling, and conversion to agriculture, urban, and industrial uses. The restoration goals
are to return a high water table throughout the bog, but particularly in the pine forests at the edge of the
bog, to re-establish Sphagnum cover, and to re-start the peat-forming process in degraded peat-harvested
sectors. Peripheral and interior ditches are being blocked to increase the retention of winter precipitation
into the drier summer months. Piezometer/well measurements have detected water table increases in
the past two years, including a relatively immediate response in one site. New Sphagnum colonies have
become established in the dry perimeter forest, a first indication that the water table may be rising and
that peat-forming vegetation may be responding positively. These preliminary results suggest that it is
possible to detect a rapid hydrological response with a comprehensive monitoring network in raised
bogs; this observation is key to early prediction of future peatland restoration initiatives.
Information Type article
Regional Watershed Lower Fraser
Sub-watershed if known
Aquifer #
Project status complete
Contact Name Sarah Howie
Contact Email [email protected]