Konference par mitrāju aizsardzību un apsaimniekošanu

PUBLICĒTS: 24. 07. 2017

LIFE+ projekta “Mitrāji” ietvaros no š. g. 11. līdz 12. jūlijam notika Starptautiska konference par mitrāju aizsardzību un apsaimniekošanu. Konferencē piedalījās vairāk nekā 80 dalībnieki no 13 valstīm.

Konferences pirmajā dienā tika diskutēts par tādiem tematiem kā mitrāju atjaunošana Igaunijā, Latvijā, Lietuvā, Baltkrievijā, Dānijā un Somijā, purvu daudzveidība Krievijā, kā arī prezentēti pētījumi par mitrājiem Slīteres nacionālā parka purvos un siltumnīcas efektu izraisošo gāzu emisijām mitrājos Vācijā. Konferences laikā dalībnieki tika iepazīstināti ar Eiropas purvu grāmatu un Latvijas Purvu biotopu apsaimniekošanas vadlīnijām.

Konferences dalībnieki. Foto: Jānis Dzilna.

Konferences dalībnieki. Foto: Jānis Dzilna.

Konferences prezentāciju kopsavilkumi angļu valodā:

Māra Pakalne, University of Latvia. Wetland conservation and management in Latvia.

Wetlands in Latvia, including raised bogs and fens are influenced by various human activities, like drainage and peat extraction, determining the need of their conservation and management activities. To diminish the drainage influence in wetlands, European Commission LIFE programme project “Wetlands” is implemented in especially protected nature areas. Aim of the project is to introduce protection and management measures to secure the most favourable conservation status for wetland habitats of European importance.

Results of seven LIFE projects starting from 2004 to 2017 are evaluated where positive wetland restoration experience was gained. Prior to implementation of restoration actions vegetation, hydrological, geological studies and monitoring is performed, including, the use of LIDAR data for hydrological modelling. Changes in plant cover and site hydrology, resulting from the water level raise in raised bog habitats in the drainage influenced areas are analysed from permanent vegetation releves and daily water level data.

Results of water monitoring show that after the implementation restoration actions, water table has raised in the degraded raised bog areas. There is an increase of Sphagnum species characterising more wetter habitats already six month after the raise of water level while die back of species of drier habitats Calluna vulgaris is observed, drainage ditches are colonised by Sphagnum cuspidatum, an indicator species for the improvement of site hydrological condition. Results of habitat and hydrological monitoring in the LIFE project sites in Latvia show that the raised bog restoration activities have a significant positive effect both on site hydrology and vegetation cover.


Jüri-Ott Salm, Marko Kohv, Estonian Fund for Nature. LIFE Mires Estonia, Raised bog restoration experience in Estonia.

Estonian Nature Conservation Development Plan (NCDP) until 2020 has targeted to restore 11 000 ha of mires by 2020. Due to active role of state, academic and NGO sector, and support from EU (e.g. LIFE) and national agencies near future perspective is almost two times as high. Still, there are limited efforts to restore fen communities which are mostly destroyed during last century.

For setting priorities Estonian Ministry of Environment adapted Action Plan for Protected Mires (2016) where restoration areas have been prioritized. Setting the areas included assessment of current and previous situation, target habitat, and restrictions (e.g. due to management regime).

LIFE Mires Estonia actions are directed towards restoration of the hydrological regime of affected mire (including Natura 2000) areas in 5800 ha. Actions include also forest manipulation. In addition, methodology to sustain conditions for T. urogallus, L. lagopus, amphibian R. arvalis, and Leucorrhinia will be compiled. Monitoring of water levels and plant cover are essential to quantify effects of implemented restoration measures. Radio controlled quadcopters and planes are used for larger spatial coverage for plant cover.

Implementing monitoring and restoration actions, involvement of volunteers has been planned and this creates better understanding and commitment for nature conservation efforts in Estonia. Also media coverage is important to clarify the aims of mire restoration – within 1.5 years the size of reached media auditorium is 5 mln (more than 3 times Estonian population) but still questions are raised.

Juri-Ott Salm, Marko Kohv_prezentācija

Nerijus Zableckis, Lithuanian Fund for Nature. LIFE Aukštumala (Lithuania).

Aukstumala raised bog is located in Nemunas Delta in western part of Lithuania on the coastline of Curonian lagoon. The bog was used for peat peat excavation for more than 100 years, therefore it has huge impact even on the untouched part of the bog (>1000 ha).

In 2012 Lithuanian Fund for Nature prepared LIFE+ project „Restoration of Aukstumala Raised Bog in Nemunas Delta Regional Park (LIFEAUKSTUMALA LIFE12NAT/LT/000965)“, which aims at restoration of natural hydrological regime in the telmological reserve; insurance of favourable conditions for conservation of active raised bogs (7110*), which predominate in the reserve; establishment of preconditions for conversion from degraded raised bogs into active bogs; support good status of dystrophic lakes, which amounts to 382 separate water bodies.

As a result, over 1200 dams have been installed, which stopped function of about 100 km of draining ditches in the bog. Dams were built from different materials: peat and plastic; also, composite dams installed on the main ditches.

105 ha of forest and regrowth of wooded vegetation was cleared in damaged parts of the bog. Hydrological monitoring proved, that after one year of management actions, the average water level increased from 5 to 15 cm.


Karen Poulsen, Peter Hahn, Danish Nature Agency. Restoration of a 5.000 ha raised bog – an example from Denmark.

Lille Vildmose is the largest lowland raised bog in Northwestern Europe and comprises more than half of the area of raised bog in Denmark. Starting in 1760 the bog has gradually been reduced by drainage for agricultural purposes and later for industrial sphagnum production. Restauration work has been ongoing since the act of conservation from 2007, and valuable experiences has been collected during these 10 years. The presentation describes the experiences and activities such as closing ditches, dam-building, sheet piling, felling of woody vegetation, establishing membranes of bentonite and of plastic and how the work was planned using information from aerial laser scanning.

Andrew Cole, Natural England. Peatland restoration in LIFE Cumbria BogLIFE project (United Kingdom).

The area of relatively undisturbed lowland raised bog in the UK has diminished about 94%, from 95,000ha to 6,000ha, over the past the past century. Up to 90% of lowland raised bogs have been modified, damaged or destroyed by past management activities such as peat cutting, drainage, forestry or agriculture, while three quarters of the habitat area is in poor condition. The county of Cumbria in north-west England still has 5,480ha of lowland raised bog, of which 1,178ha is degraded. Therefore, there is an urgent conservation need to restore these raised bogs. The Cumbrian BogsLIFE+ project targets the restoration of degraded lowland raised bog within three Natura 2000 network sites: Bolton Fell Moss, South Solway Mosses, and Roudsea Wood and Mosses. These sites have a combined area of 2,807ha, representing around 50% of lowland raised bogs in Cumbria.


Reijo Hokkanen, Parks & Wildlife Finland. Peatland restoration experience from Finland.

There is 25 years of experience of mire restoration in Finland funded by several EU Life –projects and Finnish government. In restoration the mire must become permanently waterlogged again. Raising water levels is best achieved by completely filling in ditches by excavator. It is also often necessary to remove trees, since trees lose a lot of moisture through transpiration. The results of restoration are evaluated by permanent and systematic restoration monitoring network. Many of the existing time series on the effects of ecological restoration are based on a single site case studies, which makes generalization difficult. The latest results show e.g. that the water level fluctuation after restoration seems to be similar to pristine mires.

Andrey Sirin, Institute of Forest Science Russian Academy of Sciences. Peatland diversity and restoration in Russia.

Peatlands occupy large part of Russia but in some areas have been seriously changed by human activities. In European part only peatlands drained for peat extraction, agriculture, and forestry reached several millions of hectares. Since 1990 large peatland areas that were drained for agriculture and used for peat extraction were left abandoned leading to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and high fire risks. Peatland restoration started already in 1990s mainly for biodiversity conservation purposes, and since 1997 several peatland restoration workshops have been held in Russia. Peatlands restoration was marked as important activity in the Action Plan for Peatland Conservation and Use in Russia (2003). The Water Code of the Russian Federation (2006) defined re-wetting as a priority method for the after-use of depleted peat deposits. Nowadays prevention of peat fires is the main driver for peatland restoration in Russia which can be presented by the project “Restoring Peatlands in Russia – for fire prevention and climate change mitigation”.

Olga Galanina, St.Petersburg University. Diversity of mire types in karst landscapes (Arkhangelsk region, Russia).

The mires were studied in the middle flow of the Northern Dvina and the Pinega Rivers, NW of European Russia. They are formed on karstic gypsum and limestone bedrocks of Perm period. Surface karst processes may initiate mire development in the sink-holes and small depressions. Plenty of karst mires and paludified ponds are typical for the local landscapes. Mires are on different stages of their formation, and some of them have heterogeneous structure of plant cover. Large scale vegetation maps were made showing four different mires; two of them are situated on the White Sea-Kuloi Plateau.

Oligotrophic bogs situated on the watersheds of both riversides got the ridge-pool complexes with distinctly visible rounded pools concentrated on their peripheries parts. It seems that large bogs are expanded by attaching nearest single karst mires. Forested mires with spring effect were observed also.



Agnese Priede, Nature Conservation Agency. Recently developed Mire Restoration Guidelines for Latvia.

In 2014–2017, guidelines for the restoration of protected habitats have been developed within the LIFE+ project „National Conservation and Management Programme for Natura 2000 Sites” (LIFE11 NAT/LV/000371). The guidelines are aimed at conservation, management, and restoration of terrestrial and freshwater habitats listed in the Annex I of the Habitats Directive. The guidelines have been issued in six volumes, one of them is devoted to mires and springs. The recommendations provided for in the guidelines have been tested in Latvia or geographically similar conditions. The project team also carried out experimental habitat restoration by using less known or even never tested methods in Latvia, to assess their applicability. The target audience are mainly practitioners – habitat managers and private land owners, employees of public administration and local municipalities, and non-governmental organisations. This edition can be used as a guide for practical action – from planning to the implementation of works.



Viktar Fenchuk, APB-BirdLife Belarus. Large scale peatland restoration projects in Belarus – outcomes, and challenges.

Belarus is one of the leading countries in Europe in terms of peatland restoration. So far as much as 50’000 hectares of degraded peatlands have been restored at more than 30 sites throughout the country. The National strategy on sustainable use of mires (peatlands) for 2015-2030 sets even more ambitious target of restoring at least 15% of drained peatlands by 2030. The talk will summarize the results of peatland restoration in Belarus and resent cases of concrete peatland restoration projects.

Meelis Tambets, Mart Thalfeldt, Eesti Loodushoiu Keskus. Freshwater habitats in Estonia and LIFE.

Over the last decade efforts to protect and restore different types of wetlands have gained momentum in Estonia. Water-related themes have drawn significant public attention, and increasing amounts of funding have been channeled from different sources. One important funding measure for areas within the Natura 2000 network has been the EU LIFE financial instument.

This presentation will focus on three LIFE-funded projects aimed at habitat conservation for wetlands and their species. Two of them – “HappyFish” and “HappyRiver” were focused on rivers (EU habitat type 3260) and related oxbows and floodplain meadows (habitat type 6450). Within the scope of the project natural river channels and hydrological regimes were restored, and floodplain meadows were managed. The third project – “Springday” – focuses on Petrifying springs with tufa formation (habitat type 7220*). The project aims to protect, restore and improve the conditions of springs and habitats related to them in various sites around Estonia.

In addition to the above mentioned projects, improving the quality of water bodies has been addressed within the scope of other LIFE funded projects aimed at species protection – for example projects for dragonfly and amphibian conservation (“Dragonlife” and “Baltrit”).

Ab Grootjans, Leslaw Wolejko, Oļģerts Aleksāns, Māra Pakalne. Wetland research in Slītere National Park (Latvia).

Slitere National Park in Latvia harbours a very interesting sequence of coastal wetlands (dune valleys), which all contain peat. The inter-dunal mires are situated parallel along the coast and differ in age but most are between 4000 and 5000 years old. Also ecologically these small mires are interesting, because some of the dune valleys are fens (fed by calcareous groundwater), while others are bogs (fed by rain water). In 2009 and 2016 we carried out a short eco-hydrological research in order to find out why some mires were fens and others have developed as bogs. The large difference in vegetation in neighbouring dune mires appear to be caused by difference in groundwater flow. One valley is fed by mineral-rich groundwater, the others are not. The mineral groundwater probably comes from far away. It is relevant to know where the mineral-rich groundwater comes from, because upstream agricultural areas and pine plantations outside the boundaries of National Park might negatively influence the hydrology of the protected dune mires within the park.

We will report on the research carried out in Peterzera mire, which is a long valley between dune ridges that consists of fens, bogs and two lakes. There is no obvious outlet in the valley. We measured Electrical Conductivity (EC), temperature, redox potential and pH in the peat profiles in a transect across the mire. We found large differences in all parameters between the two sides of the valley. High EC and pH values were measured at the southern side, while low values were measured at the opposite side. Redox potential measurements and temperature also suggested that anoxic, cold groundwater enters the valley on one side and infiltrates again on the other side or is flowing towards the lakes as surface water. Further research is planned to find the source of the deep groundwater using stable isotopes as tracers of groundwater flow.

Oļģerts Aleksāns, University of Latvia. Hydrological studies and monitoring within the LIFE project Wetlands (Latvia).

The complexities of raised bog management and restoration require various kinds of data, especially understanding of the raised bog hydrology (water flows, raised bog catchment areas etc.), peat depth, underlying geology, topography, water chemistry and type of peat. The active raised bog (7110*) has a direct influence on all aspects of ecosystem function that provides all necessary conditions for a variety of plant species growing there. The rise of the groundwater level in drained peatlands increases the functioning of the whole mire ecosystem and bog habitats, also plant and animal species diversity. One of the simplest and more effective methods to implement habitat restoration and hydrological regime optimization in the raised bogs is to reduce the drain-induced negative impacts on the local ecosystem of the mire. Taken the appropriate corrective actions, which have been focused on the negative impact mitigation, it is possible to stop or significantly reduce the degradation of ecosystems.

Oļģerta_ Aleksāna_prezentācija

Dominik Zak, Jörg Gelbrecht, Bärbel Tiemeyer, Rob McInnes, Jürgen Augustin, Anke Günther, Gerald Jurasinski, Germany. How to manage and monitor carbon sequestration in rewetted peatlands.

An important strategy for the mitigation of climate change through the sequestration of carbon is the restoration of degraded minerotrophic peatlands. However, full rehabilitation of their ecological functions can be retarded up to centuries, in particular if the peat of upper soil layers is highly degraded. The knowledge of the driving factors and biogeochemical processes controlling carbon turnover and their relative importance over time is essential for securing the best restoration outcomes. Based on existing knowledge, and cognizant of the realities of financial constraints on restoration projects, harvesting of helophytes or hydrophytes to extract labile organic carbon or even the removal of the degraded peat layer is recommended. Both measures can be useful to break the internal eutrophication and elevated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions after rewetting of peatlands, however, the effect on carbon sequestration was questionable. The effectiveness of different restoration strategies with respect to carbon sequestration could be evaluated by a simplified monitoring strategy.



Franziska Tanneberger, Andrey Sirin. Peatland conservation in Europe and the European Mires Book.

The European continent features an impressive variety of mires and peatlands. Polygon, palsa, and aapa mires, concentric and eccentric bogs, spring and percolation fens, coastal marshes, blanket bogs, saline fens: the peatlands of Europe represent unique ecosystem biodiversity and harbour a large treasure of flora and fauna. Europe is also the continent with the longest history, the highest intensity, and the largest variety of peatland use. Massive peatland degradation also kindled the desire to protect these beautiful landscapes. In recent decades, attention has widened to include additional ecosystem services. The new book “Mires and peatlands of Europe” of the International Mire Conservation Group (IMCG) provides – for the first time in history – a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of mires and peatlands in biogeographic Europe. Written by 134 authors, the book describes mire and peatland types, terms, extent, distribution, use, conservation, and restoration individually for each country and integrated for the entire continent.

Konferences laikā tika izstādīti 22 plakāti par dažādiem mitrāju apsaimniekošanas un atjaunošanas projektiem un pētījumiem Eiropā. Dalībniekiem bija iespēja apskatīt arī projekta ietvaros tapušo foto un multimediju izstādi “Purvā no -30°C līdz +30°C” un noskatīties projekta filmu par Raunas Staburagu.

Konferences laikā bija iespējams apskatīt arī 22 plakātu prezentācijas. Foto: Māra Pakalne.

Konferences laikā tika izstādītas 22 plakātu prezentācijas. Foto: Māra Pakalne.

Trešdien, 12. jūlijā, notika ekskurija uz dabas liegumu “Melnā ezera purvs”, kas ir viena no LIFE projekta “Augstie purvi” (2010-2013) projekta vietām, kur veikta hidroloģiskā režīma stabilizēšana.  Dienas otrajā pusē konferences dalībnieki devās uz Sudas-Zviedru purvu Gaujas Nacionālajā parkā, lai apskatītu dabisku augsto purvu. Sudas-Zviedru purvs ir viena no projekta “Mitrāji” teritorijām. Projekta ietvaros purva degradētajā daļā uz grāvjiem plānots izbūvēt aizsprostus.

Slikto laika apstākļu dēļ netika apmeklēta ekskursijas pēdējā vieta – Raunas Staburags.

Eksursijas dalībnieki dabas liegumā "Melnā ezera purvs". Foto: Māra Pakalne.

Eksursijas dalībnieki dabas liegumā “Melnā ezera purvs”. Foto: Māra Pakalne.

Sudas-Zviedru purvs Gaujas Nacionālajā parkā. Foto: Māra Pakalne.

Ekskursija uz Sudas-Zviedru purvu Gaujas Nacionālajā parkā. Foto: Māra Pakalne.

Biotopu eksperte Līga Strazdiņa ekskursijas dalībniekiem stāsta par Sudas-Zviedru purva veidošanos. Foto: K.Libauers.

Biotopu eksperte Līga Strazdiņa ekskursijas dalībniekiem stāsta par Sudas-Zviedru purva veidošanos. Foto: K.Libauers.

Kūdras paraugu ievākšana. Foto: K.Libauers.

Kūdras paraugu ievākšana. Foto: K.Libauers.

Konferences buklets angļu valodā.

Konference tika rīkota LIFE+ projekta “Prioritāro mitrāju biotopu aizsardzība un apsaimniekošana Latvijā” LIFE13 NAT/LV/000578 ietvaros. Projektu finansē Eiropas Komisija un Latvijas vides aizsardzības fonda administrācija.

Projektu īsteno Latvijas Universitāte un sadarbības partneri – SIA „RIDemo”, SIA „E Būvvadība”, nodibinājums “Moderno tehnoloģiju attīstības fonds“, Igaunijas dabas fonds (SA Eestimaa Looduse Fond) un Dipholcas purva apvienība (BUND Diepholzer Moorniederung).