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Restoration

Since peatland restoration is a long-term process, Fafard works closely with the PERG (Peatland Ecology Research Group), headed by Dr. Line Rochefort of Laval University’s phytology department. In fact, the Sainte-Marguerite peat bog in Dolbeau-Mistassini in the Lac-Saint-Jean region is one of the first peat bogs to be restored in Canada. It serves as a study ground for the PERG team.

HOW ARE PEAT BOGS RESTORED?

Fafard quickly restores its bogs to return them to functional ecosystems, thereby promoting the accumulation of sphagnum peat moss.

Step1: Preparing the land
rotocultueur-vegetation-tourbiere-restauration.jpg Using a cultivator, a sample of surface vegetation is taken from a protected section of peatland reserved for the restoration. The sample is brought onto the peatland being restored.
niveler-terrain-tourbiere.jpg First, a leveller is used to level the ground.
Step 2: Spreading
epandeur-fumier-tourbe-sphaigne-tourbiere.jpg A manure spreader is used to spread the sphagnum peat moss evenly all over the field. Shredded straw is then spread on the peat bog to protect the freshly planted peat moss. This retains soil moisture, protects the sphagnum from the sun and wind and accelerates decomposition.
Step 3: Fertilization
epandeur-paille-tourbe-sphaigne-tourbiere.jpg Low-phosphorus fertilizer can be used to promote sphagnum peat moss rooting. This stage of the restoration process remains optional.
Step 4: Revegetation
canau-perimetre-drainage-eau-tourbiere.jpg Drainage channels are finally buried to raise the water level (water table) and create an environment conducive to sphagnum peat moss growth.

 

restauration-tourbiere-restoration-bog-peatland Under favourable conditions, the vegetation establishes itself quickly. Vegetation cover of the restored site is usually achieved within five years. With good restoration techniques, approximately 10 inches of sphagnum accumulation can be observed after 8–10 years. At this stage, the bog returns to a functioning peatland ecosystem, meaning that the surface is completely covered in vegetation, including sphagnum peat moss, bryophytes, herbaceous plants and occasionally shrubs, and nature quickly returns to normal.

HOW TO MINIMIZE THE IMPACTS OF HARVESTING?

certification-veriflora-responsible-bog-peatland  

Under the Veriflora certification on responsible peat bog management, Fafard is committed to comply with the highest standards and implement various activities to minimize the impact of harvesting on its peat bogs’ ecosystems.
Find out more about Veriflora certification…

 

In 2010, Fafard developed two sphagnum growing sites, one at the Saint-Ludger-de-Milot peat bog and another at Sainte-Marguerite in Lac-Saint-Jean. We also ensure the continued operation of borrow pits at each of our peat bogs in order to facilitate future restoration. In addition to maintaining biodiversity, these methods enable us to collect sphagnum cuttings which are then used to reseed bogs that require restoration. tourbiere-sainte-marguerite-lac-saint-jean-quebec-bog-peatland

Ecological alternatives
Fafard strives to use new ingredients from recycled organic materials such as bark or manure compost and green residue. These ingredients will allow us not only to improve the efficiency of our planting soil, but also to decrease the amount of peat used and in turn prolong the life-span of our peat bogs.

Fafard recently received certification from the Ministère de l’Environnement authorizing increased compost production and can now divert more than 30,000 tons of residual material annually from the landfill.
Find out more about the composting process…

Rehabilitation: a second life
The Saint-Bonaventure peat bog remains operational, but approximately 14 hectares of it have been rehabilitated with woody species (tamarack, pine, fir, maple, aronia) planted nearly 12 years ago.

environnement-saules-restauration-tourbiere-environment-willows-restoration-peatlands.jpg  

Willow projects
In 2010, an initial 80,000 willow cuttings were planted over 5 hectares of peat bog to produce biomass. Leachate is collected from compost production and used to irrigate and fertilize the willows.
Find out more about the Willow Project…