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Analysis of ecological factors limiting the destruction of high-moor peat

Dobrovol’skaya, T. G., Golovchenko, A. V., Zvyagintsev, D. G.
Eurasian soil science 2014 v.47 no.3 pp. 182-193
Sphagnum, aerobic conditions, animals, crushing, enzymes, foods, microorganisms, mosses and liverworts, nutrients, oxygen, peat, peatlands, phenol, soil, temperature, toxicity
This review presents an analysis of literature data and original studies by the authors aimed at revealing the factors inhibiting the destruction of high-moor (oligotrophic) peat. Each of the ecological factors that prevent the decomposition of the high-moor peat by different groups of microorganisms is considered. The acid reaction, low temperatures, and lack of nutrients were found not to be the primary factors inhibiting the destruction of the peat. The limited content of oxygen in the peatbogs leads to a drastic decrease in the number of mycelial microorganisms and a reduction of the activity of hydrolytic and oxidizing enzymes. The main factor inhibiting the decomposition of sphagnum is its mechanical and chemical stability, since animals crushing sphagnum are absent in the soil, and this moss has polysaccharides of special composition. The toxicity of phenol compounds, which is manifested under the aerobic conditions, prevents the activity of all the hydrolytic enzymes. This is the main reason for the slow decomposition of sphagnum peat and the long-term preservation of the residues of bodies and food in high-moor peatlands.