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  • Publication
    The bogs of Ireland: an introduction to the natural, cultural and industrial heritage of Irish peatlands
    (University College Dublin. Environmental Institute, 2008) ; ; ;
    The bogs were the last wilderness to take shape in the Irish landscape in the wake of the Ice Age. As they expanded, they forced back the tide of farming, and then kept the fields at bay along their inhospitable frontiers. During the first farming millennia little could be done to reclaim these barren, wet deserts and replace them with friendly fields as had been done with most of the forest wilderness. Only rarely were the bogs resorted to – to bury butter, to take a short cut, to hide the bodies of the murdered. This outlook on the bog changed for two related reasons. One was the disappearance of woodland, and the increasing scarcity of wood as a domestic fuel; the second was the increasing population. Since the publication of The Bogs of Ireland in 1996, research on Irish peatlands has been concentrated on two main areas: carbon sequestration and a re-evaluation of the prospects for afforestation of the cutaway. Apart from some minor corrections, the text of this digital version is essentially that of the original printed edition of 1996, with the exception of Chapters 5, 7 and 16, which have been expanded and rewritten to take account of recent and ongoing research and developments in these two areas.
  • Publication
    Optimising Water Quality Returns from Peatland Management while Delivering Co-Benefits for Climate and Biodiversity
    Irish peatlands are of national and international importance. Half of the blanket bogs considered to be of conservation importance in the European Atlantic Biogeographic Region are found on this island, along with some of the last Oceanic raised bog remaining in the EU. Irish peatlands are also a significant carbon store, containing ¾ of the total soil carbon stock in the Republic of Ireland. Healthy peatlands help provide natural filtration processes to clean water and reduce the quantity of water entering rivers and lakes; they help regulate the global climate and mitigate climate change; they support unique flora and fauna; and provide multiple social and cultural services to society.