Mukhrino Sphagnum Growth (MuSGrowth)

Sphagnum species are dominating plants by biomass in the ecosystem of raised bog and evaluation of its production and its dynamics is important characteristic for prediction of C balance in this ecosystem. The field studies of Sphagnum growth rate are started in Mukhrino field station since 2015. Several methods of growth rate measurements were used, including wires with brush (modified version of cranked wire), individual markings and visual observations.

The main goal of this project is to estimate general characteristics of productivity of different species of Sphagnum in Mukhrino bog.

For this purpose, a series of plots was installed in different peatland types to evaluate growth dynamics for many years.

The project is launched in collaboration with the Institute of Soil Science and Agrochemistry, Novosibirsk

The general experiment settings include:

  1. Sphagnum growth rate in pristine raised bogs
    1. 10 species of Sphagnum (fuscum, angustifolium, capillifolium, balticum, jensenii, lindbergii, majus, papillosum, magellanicum, fallax)
    2. 3-4 plots per Sphagnum species and 10 replicas per plot
    3. Two different methods to estimate growth rate, 1) wires with brush for upwards-growing species (fuscum, angustifolium, magellanicum, capillifolium, papillosum) and 2) individual wire* markings for horizontally growing species (balticum, jensenii, lindbergii, majus, fallax) + samples of sphagnum were taken for visual observations of growth rate
  2. Sphagnum growth in experimental conditions of Open Top Chambers experiment (temperature raise for 1-2 C)
    1. The dominating species of sphagnum inside the plots (S. balticum) was used as a model
    2. 5 individual markings were installed in each of the 30 plots, measurements were done monthly or yearly (in different years)
    3. Samples of Sphagnum about 5×5 cm were taken from every plot for visual observations of growth rate

Totally about 400 individual markings (wires or brushes) were installed in 27 plots located along the boardwalks in October 2018 for permanent monitoring of Sphagnum growth in Mukhrino.

The database of this project includes description of plots as well as the data collected during the past period of observations. It could be downloaded and used upon contact and agreement (.xls file, last update 16.10.2018).


Location of plots for observations of growth rate along the boardwalk line

See some pictures from this project on flickr:

Sphagnum fallax dense carpet on the bogged birch forest floor


* the wire for individual markings was from a special inert metal – manganin or constantin, provided by the Soil Science Institute (манганиновая или константановая).

Published papers:

Kosykh N.P., Koronatova N.G., Lapshina E.D., Filippova N.V., Vishnyakova E.K., Stepanova V.A. 2017. Linear growth and production of Sphagnum mosses in the middle taiga zone of West Siberia // Environmental dynamics and global climate change. V. 8 (1). P. 3-13. (Pdf)

Last update: 16.10.2018