Open Bog is moderate to highly vulnerable to climate change. Decreased water levels resulting in drying may result in peat decomposition and increased nitrogen availability, that may shift composition to sedge meadow and invasive species.

Submitted by dshannon on Mon, 01/25/2021 - 08:03

In large peatland basins with no inlets or outlets, the balance of precipitation to evaporation is crucial. Warmer temperatures may increase water losses, and unless precipitation also increases, eventual drying could occur, touching off peat decomposition and increases in available nitrogen, increasing the risk of invasive species or encroachment by sedge meadow species. Risk of catastrophic wildfire may increase, and fires that consume subsurface peat would be detrimental, though less severe fires could be a benefit. Impact could be lessened by several factors. Low topographic position and connections to cool groundwater may reduce the effect of modest increases in temperature. Several dominant species also appear to tolerate or even benefit from moderate increases in temperature. Highly acidic soils also provide a buffer against invasive species. Overall, Open Bog may be able to resist modest changes, but is highly vulnerable under high change scenarios