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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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Diversity of life in peatlands

Diversity of life in peatlands

(p.20) 2 Diversity of life in peatlands
The Biology of Peatlands

Håkan Rydin

John K. Jeglum

Oxford University Press

Peatlands host a wide diversity of species and life forms. The plants are the most obvious, since they provide the structural foundation and are the source of organic compounds derived from photosynthesis for the sustenance of animals and microorganisms. This chapter gives an overview of important life forms and the associated diversity of fungi, microorganisms, protozoan, algae, plants, and animals within different types of peatlands, mainly in temperate and boreal areas. For both plants and animals, characteristic species are mentioned together with quantitative information about the importance and abundance of different life forms in different types of peatlands. Many organisms are useful indicators of environmental conditions, and examples of such indicators are drawn from testate amoebae, bryophytes, and vascular plants.

Keywords:   algae, animals, birds, bryophytes, indicators, invertebrates, lichens, life forms, microorganisms, protozoan

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