Annapolis River - For peat’s sake
The ecology of peat bog
The peat bogs of the Annapolis River valley form slowly from the decay of vegetation
without oxygen. Some peat bogs are over 10,000 years old, dating from the last glaciation.
Dried peat is used as a soil conditioner. To harvest peat, a network of ditches
is dug to drain it of moisture - a process which takes decades. Only a few centimetres
of peat can be harvested from the surface every year.
Peat moss is 95 per cent water. It is black and feels like putty in the hand.
The poorly drained peat bogs are the habitat for plants with unusually picturesque
names such as Labrador-tea, lambkill, leather-leaf, orchids, pitcher plants,
sundew, and cotton-grass.
The peat bogs are teeming with wildlife as home to salamanders, jumping mice,
shrews, lemmings, beaver, mink, muskrat, and painted turtles.
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