Webinar - The Challenges of Fen Restoration in Southeast Manitoba

Pete Whittington
Resource Date:

The ecohydrological and biogeochemical understanding of Sphagnum (bog) peatland restoration in North America has advanced immensely in the past 30-years, evidenced by the establishment of the successful moss layer transfer technique. However, fen restoration, as well as integrating restoration efforts with the surrounding landscape to encourage ecotone creation, has significant knowledge gaps. For example, at peat extraction sites the bog peat can be extracted until the underlying minerotrophic (fen) peat is exposed, and thus restoration towards a fen ecosystem should be the goal. In Canada, initial ecosystem-scale fen restoration projects with fen plant reintroduction were conducted in a basin (Québec) and horizontal (Manitoba) fen, but with little success of regeneration of fen mosses. Fen restoration hydrology appears much more complicated than bogs, in part due to the large variations in seasonal weather (mainly precipitation surpluses or deficits of 100s of mm) experienced in Manitoba over the past half-decade. This webinar will focus on three restoration sites in South Eastern Manitoba near the towns of Whitemouth and Elma.