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The Biology of Peatlands$
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Hakan Rydin and John K Jeglum

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198528722

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198528722.001.0001

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Peatland patterns and landforms

Peatland patterns and landforms

(p.187) 10 Peatland patterns and landforms
The Biology of Peatlands

Håkan Rydin

John K. Jeglum

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes and explains the intriguing surface patterns of peatlands, from the landscape-scale features down to the striking microtopographic variation in hummocks and hollows. These patterns are strongly related to hydrology, with a distinction made between, for example, ombrogenous peatlands (with rain as the only source of water) and minerogenous (where water has passed through mineral soil). Peatlands are described and classified according to hydromorphology; that is, morphological features that are shaped by the interactions between underlying terrain form, climate, and hydrology. Hydromorphological patterns are described from small features (such as hummocks), via larger mire types (raised bog, patterned fen etc), up to landscape-scale complexes covering many square kilometres. The biological, climatic, and physical factors that create peatland patterns are discussed.

Keywords:   hydrology, hydromorphological patterns, landforms, microtopographic variation, peatlands, mire types, hummocks

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