University Of Tasmania
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A synthesis of evidence for the effects of interventions to conserve peatland vegetation: overview and critical discussion

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 11:11 authored by Taylor, NG, Grillas, P, Fennessy, MS, Goodyer, E, Graham, LLB, Karofeld, E, Lindsay, RA, Locky, DA, Ockendon, N, Rial, A, Ross, S, Smith, RK, van Diggelen, R, Jennifer WhinamJennifer Whinam, Sutherland, WJ
Peatlands are valuable but threatened ecosystems. Intervention to tackle direct threats is often necessary, but should be informed by scientific evidence to ensure it is effective and efficient. Here we discuss a recent synthesis of evidence for the effects of interventions to conserve peatland vegetation - a fundamental component of healthy, functioning peatland ecosystems. The synthesis is unique in its broad scope (global evidence for a comprehensive list of 125 interventions) and practitioner-focused outputs (short narrative summaries in plain English, integrated into a searchable online database). Systematic literature searches, supplemented by recommendations from an international advisory board, identified 162 publications containing 296 distinct tests of 66 of the interventions. Most of the articles studied open bogs or fens in Europe or North America. Only 36 interventions were supported by sufficient evidence to assess their overall effectiveness. Most of these interventions (85 %) had positive effects, overall, on peatland vegetation although this figure is likely to have been inflated by publication bias. We discuss how to use the synthesis, critically, to inform conservation decisions. Reflecting on the content of the synthesis we make suggestions for the future of peatland conservation, from monitoring over appropriate timeframes to routinely publishing results to build up the evidence base.


Publication title

Mires and Peat



Article number









School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences


Mires and Peat

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

© 2019 International Mire Conservation Group and International Peatland Society. Suo – Mires and Peat has adhered to the principle of open access. All content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International ((CC BY-SA 4.0)) License. (

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Ecosystem adaptation to climate change; Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences

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