10 Jun 2021

The EPA has published the EPA Research Report 378: Towards the Quantification of Blanket Bog Ecosystem Services to Water.

The importance of ecosystem services provided by blanket bogs, cannot be underestimated. This research undertaken by Raymond Flynn, Francis Mackin and Florence Renou-Wilson aimed to better understand blanket bog hydrology.

Blanket bogs are confined to the western half of the country and mountainous areas further east where the rainfall exceeds 1200mm per year while raised bogs are largely confined to the midlands where the rainfall amounts are generally below 1200mm per year.

Outcomes of the research

  • The flow in streams draining the more intact blanket bogs studied displayed greater stability and/or less variable water quality, particularly during prolonged dry periods.
  • More limited data indicated that more degraded areas were associated with higher flood risk.
  • A case study comparing the effects of development on ecosystem services in a drained and undrained area of bog demonstrated that water coming from the developed area had greater water treatment costs and higher flood risk.

Link to the report: https://www.epa.ie/publications/research/water/research-378-towards-the-quantification-of-blanket-bog-ecosystem-services-to-water.php

Summary video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUiZNjFGL2Q