Chemical and Phytocoenological Characteristics of Two Different Slovak Peatlands

Plants (Basel). 2021 Jun 24;10(7):1290. doi: 10.3390/plants10071290.


This paper presents the results of pedological and phytocoenological research focused on the detailed research of chemical parameters (pH, organic carbon, and nutrients), risk elements (As-metalloid, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn), and species composition of the vegetation of two different peatlands on the territory of Slovakia-Belianske Lúky (a fen) and Rudné (a bog). Sampling points were selected to characterize the profile of the organosol within the peatland, the soil profile between the peatland and the agricultural land, and the soil profile of the outlying agricultural land, which is used as permanent grassland. Based on phytocoenological records, a semi-quantitative analysis of taxa in accordance with the Braun-Blanquet scale was performed. The study revealed that the thickness of the peat horizon of the fen in comparison with the bog is very low. In terms of the quality of organic matter, the monitored peatlands are dominated by fresh plant residues such as cellulose and lignin. Differences between individual types of peatlands were also found in the soil reaction and the supply of nitrogen to the organic matter of peat. The values of the soil exchange reaction were neutral on the fen, as well as slightly alkaline but extremely low on the bog. A significantly higher nitrogen supply was found in the organic matter of the fen in contrast to the bog. At the same time, extremely low content of accessible P and an above-limit content of As in the surface horizons were also found on the fen. From the phytocoenological point of view, 22 plant species were identified on the fen, while only five species were identified on the bog, which also affected the higher diversity (H') and equitability (e). The results of the statistical testing confirmed the diversity of the studied peatlands and the different impact of environmental variables on plant diversity.

Keywords: bog; fen; organic carbon; pH; plants.