Current state of peatland soils as an effect of long-term drainage – preliminary results of peatland ecosystems investigation in the Grójecka Valley (central Poland)

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Abstract

Understanding the effect of long-term drainage of peatland areas is helpful in future peatland management and regulations of water conditions. The aim of this work was to assess the current state of fen peatland soils in the Grójecka Valley (eastern part of the Wielkopolskie voivodeship, central Poland), affected by long-term agricultural use (pastures, meadows) since the 1960s and potentially by lignite open pit mining industry (KWB Konin) since 1980s. Field studies were carried out in 2015 in selected fen peatland areas. Soil material for laboratory analysis was collected from genetic horizons from four soil profiles. The surface horizons of studied organic and organo-mineral soils were built with well-developed moorsh material. They were classified as medium moorshiefied – MtII (profile 1, 3 and 4) and strongly moorshiefied – MtIII (profile 2). Obtained results of physical and physico-chemical analysis indicate that long-term peatland utilization connected with potential impact of the lignite mining, transformed mainly the upper horizons of studied organic and organo-mineral soils. However, despite obvious strong human impact on peatlands ecosystems, we cannot exclude the climate variables, what should be confirmed by long-term monitoring program. Furthermore, presented paper indicated that new subtype moorsh-muddy soils (in Polish: gleby murszowo-mułowe) within the type of gleyic soils should be implemented in the next version of Polish Soil Classification.

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