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The impact of the water level on the peat layer and vegetation near Varemurru

Student(s):Hans-Kristjan Raid, Kristel-Elis Siidra, Sofja Gorpintsenko, Clealyandra Arm, Kirill Pavlov, Ivan Nikanorov, Johannes Tiirats, Anette Einmann
Grade Level:Secondary School (grades 9-12, ages 14-18)
GLOBE Teacher:Jaan Pärn
Contributors:Laura Altin, Johanna Raudsepp
Report Type(s):International Virtual Science Symposium Report
Protocols:Soil Characterization, Soil pH, Soil Temperature
Presentation Poster: View Document
Optional Badges:Be a Collaborator, Be an Engineer, Make An Impact
Date Submitted:03/02/2022
We investigated peatlands in the coastal area of the Gulf of Riga in Western Estonia. We were interested in what species can grow in the peatland, and if and how water level affects the plants. We studied 6 different research sites across the Varemurru area. We found from the Estonian Land Board Geoportal search that the soils are very diverse in this area. We chose six different and evenly spread sites, two were wet fens, two were moist swamp forests and two were dry peaty forests. We decided to focus on finding out whether the water level affects the plants growing in the soil. Because at some point in history these places were all peatlands, these soils should have a peat layer. Three hypotheses out of five were supported. Most interesting thing we found through research was that the peat quantity was not related to water level. One potential mismatch reason is that maybe this is due to the recent extreme drought that was a big problem all over Estonia in the summer of 2021. Other things were a bit more predictable, but overall the research was very instructive