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Connection between peat and plants

Student(s):Antonela Nikolić - III. osnovna škola Varaždin Lara Draganić - III. osnovna škola Varaždin Aistê Justinavičiūtê - Birštono gimnazija Domilê Laukaitytê - Birštono gimnazija Kadiliis Kütt - Kääpa Põhikool Ema Težak - III. osnovna škola Varaždin Marit Lõbu - Põlva Kool Emili Matjushenko - Jõhvi Vene Põhikool Kelly Saar - Antsla Gümnaasium Teele Piirimäe - Rakvere Reaalkool
Grade Level:Secondary School (grades 9-12, ages 14-18)
GLOBE Educator(s):Jaan Pärn
Contributors:Sabrina Moore Johanna Raudsepp Laura Altin
Report Type(s):International Virtual Science Symposium Report
Protocols:Clouds, Land Cover Classification, Soil Characterization, Soil Moisture - Gravimetric
Presentation Poster: View Document
Optional Badges:Be a Collaborator, Make An Impact, Be a STEM Professional
Date Submitted:03/08/2023
Peat is the surface organic layer of a soil that consists of partially decomposed organic matter, derived mostly from plant material, which has accumulated under conditions of waterlogging, oxygen deficiency, high acidity and nutrient deficiency. (International Peatland Society) Our team was interested in the effects of low oxygen and nutrient levels to the plants in the peatland locations near Käsmu. We also wanted to see how different heights and water logging affect the vegetation on divergent locations. We had 3 different hypotheses which were: 1. More pines grow in wetter peatlands. 2. Plants that tolerate water-logging, grow on deeper peat. 3. Plants that tolerate a low level of nutrients grow on deeper peat. To analyze peatland, plants and other mentioned things, for our research, we used a variety of tools and data sheets. The parameters we analyzed were; the height of each horizon and its color and moisture. We also tested pH, oxygen levels, free carbonates, nutrients (Ca, Mg and P), plant species, cloud cover and canopy cover. The results showed that first and third hypotheses were not supported. That being said, the first hypothesis was not supported because pines grow equally in all four sites and the last hypothesis was not supported because the sites have similarly low amounts of nutrients and a similar share of plants that tolerate a low level of nutrients. While the second hypothesis was supported because in the sites number 2 and 3, where we recorded deeper peat, we also saw more plants that tolerate water-logged conditions. For future research and projects we would like to take a closer look at the nutrients that help or hinder plants to grow in different areas and locations.