Fens are peatlands that formed from vegetation receiving a constant supply of base-rich groundwaters and therefore can be described as minerotrophic (fed by groundwater). Fen peats in Ireland have usually a relatively high pH. Fen peats are mineral rich, with a relatively high ash content (10–20%) and a relatively shallow peat depth (c. 2 m). The vegetation is generally species rich and largely contains tall herbs, rushes and grasses, with brown mosses a feature of the ground layer.
While a fen can be seen as a transitional ecosystem enroute to becoming a raised bog, they rarely progress in this natural direction due to human-induced influences, be it reclamation for agriculture, roadworks or landfilling. Natural fens are rare, as 97% of the country’s fens have been drained for agriculture. While fens of conservational importance still occur right across the country, their current extent is estimated at 20,180 ha (EPA, 2011).
Upload to this page
Add your photos, text, videos, etc. to this page.
- Ireland's Environment Overview
- Environmental Governance
- Air Quality
- The Built Environment
- Waste Management
- Aarhus Convention
- Climate Change
- Health and Wellbeing
- Featured Articles
- County Focus
- Environmental Awareness Initiatives
- Education, Training & Exhibitions
- Public Consultations & Review Procedure
- Environmental Impact Statements
- Who Does What?
- Environmental Assessment
- Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
- Local Authority Environmental Enforcement
- Mineral Extraction