Positive trends in plant, dragonfly and butterfly diversity of rewetted montane peatlands

Drainage and afforestation of peatlands cause extensive habitat degradation and species losses. Restoration supports peatlandbiodiversity by creating suitable habitat conditions, including stable high water tables. However, colonization by characteristicspecies can take decades or even fail. Peatland recovery is often monitored shortly after restoration, but initial trends may notcontinue, and results might differ among taxonomic groups. This study analyzes trends in plant, dragonfly, and butterflydiversity within 18 years after rewetting of montane peatlands in central Germany. We compared diversity and speciescomposition of 19 restored sites with three drained peatlands and one near-natural reference site. Restoration resulted inimproved habitat conditions and benefited species diversity, but there were marked differences among taxonomic groups.Dragonflies rapidly colonized small water bodies but their diversity did not further increase in older restoration sites.Characteristic peatland vegetation recovered slowly, since it depended on a high water holding capacity that was onlyreached after peat started accumulating. Generally, plant diversity developed toward reference conditions albeit incompletely,even 18 years after restoration. Butterflies responded less to peatland restoration; generalists increased only temporarilyand specialists could not establish. In conclusion, peatland restoration improves habitat conditions and biodiversity, whiletrajectories of recovery are nonlinear and incomplete after two decades. This highlights the need for long-term monitoringand a strategic selection of indicator species for evaluation of restoration success.

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Publikationsart
Zeitschriftenbeiträge (peer-reviewed)
Titel
Positive trends in plant, dragonfly and butterfly diversity of rewetted montane peatlands
Medien
Restoration Ecology
Heft
28
Band
2019
Autoren
Katharina Strobl, Prof. Dr. Christoph Moning , Prof. Dr. Johannes Kollmann
Herausgeber
SER
Seiten
796-806
Veröffentlichungsdatum
13.04.2019
Zitation
Strobl, Katharina; Moning, Christoph; Kollmann, Johannes (2019): Positive trends in plant, dragonfly and butterfly diversity of rewetted montane peatlands. Restoration Ecology 2019 (28), S. 796-806. DOI: 10.1111/rec.12957