Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Soils: Blanket Bogs

Like the Gley soils, Blanket bogs are another type of soil found in Ireland. However, they become water logged not so much because of the original composition of their soil, but because of the heavy rains and the topography of the area. They form in mountains or in low-lying areas with no water escapes. While they do have Sphagnum and peat mosses, they do not form the heavy, monoculture-like layers found in the Gley bogs. They have a very diverse ecosystem and are not as deep as some Gley bogs.
The Raised bog is more associated with Gley soils, while the blanket bogs have their own soil profile.
Heavy rainfall caused nutrients to be leached from the surface layers called paludification. As the heavy nutrients were washed further down, they became stuck and formed an iron pan. The water cannot penetrate this layer, and eventually the soil becomes water logged.
The soil has a huge nutrient reserve like the Gley soils; however they tend to have low pH (3.5-4.2). This low pH means more modification needs to be done to the soil before it is able to be used for agriculture. Many of these blanket bogs have already been drained and are used for farming or for grazing.
These bogs are also heavily conserved under the Republic of Ireland, it is estimated only 21% of the original blanket bogs are left, and they have mostly been turned into National Parks.
List of Blanket Bog National Parks:
Connemara National Park, Co. Galway
Glenveagh National Park, Co. Donegal
Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry
Mayo National Park, Co. Mayo
Wicklow National Park, Co. Wicklow


No comments:

Post a Comment