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What are peatlands?

Peat (also referred to as Turf) is a varied mixture of more or less decomposed plant material that is unique to natural areas called peatlands, bogs, mires, moors or swamps. Peatlands are terrestrial wetland ecosystems in which waterlogged conditions prevent plant material from fully decomposing. As such, the organic matter produced is higher than its decomposition, which results in an overall accumulation of peat. In cool climates, peatland vegetation is mostly made up of Sphagnum mosses, sedges and shrubs and are the primary builder of peat.

Most modern peat bogs formed approximately 12,000 years ago in high latitudes following glacial retreat at the end of the last ice age. Peat usually accumulates slowly at the rate of about a millimetre per year. 

Due to the process of peat accumulation, peatlands are carbon rich ecosystems that store and sequester more carbon than any other type of terrestrial ecosystem.

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