Nigula Nature Reserve

Nigula is a typical plateau-like bog covering ~2340 ha with sparse trees and numerous small pools in southwestern Estonia (Fig. 14-9). So-called mineral islands rise within the bog and support deciduous trees on nutrient-rich soil. Mire

FIGURE 14-7 Close-up vertical picture of pools and hummocks in the central portion of Mannikjarve bog. A, Sphagnum cuspidatum floating in water; B, S. cuspidatum at pool shore (barely emergent); C, Sphagnum rubellum above water table; D, Scots pine trees on hummocks along with dwarf shrubs—Empetrum nigrum, Chamaedaphne calyculata, Andromeda polifolia, and Calluna vulgaris. The boardwalk is ~60cm wide. Taken from Aber et al. (2002, fig. 2)

FIGURE 14-7 Close-up vertical picture of pools and hummocks in the central portion of Mannikjarve bog. A, Sphagnum cuspidatum floating in water; B, S. cuspidatum at pool shore (barely emergent); C, Sphagnum rubellum above water table; D, Scots pine trees on hummocks along with dwarf shrubs—Empetrum nigrum, Chamaedaphne calyculata, Andromeda polifolia, and Calluna vulgaris. The boardwalk is ~60cm wide. Taken from Aber et al. (2002, fig. 2)

formation began as a result of infilling and overgrowing of an ancient lake following retreat of the last ice sheet from the region (Loopmann et al., 1988). The bog has been the subject of numerous investigations of its characteristics (e.g., Ilomets, 1982; Koff, 1997; Karofeld, 1998). A narrow footpath of wooden boards laid directly on the moss circles through the bog, although part of the path is closed to the public, and an observation tower is open for public use.

Oblique views depict the relationships of various components of the bog—pools, hummocks, vegetation

FIGURE 14-8 Color-infrared view of Mannikjarve bog. Active moss photosynthesis is concentrated at the margins of pools, as shown by bright pink-red in this false-color image. Compare with previous figure; taken from Aber et al. (2002, fig. 8).
FIGURE 14-9 Topographic map of Nigula vicinity, Estonia. Kite aerial photography was conducted at two marked (*) sites within the bog. Map derived from Parnu, Eesti Topograafiline Kaart, sheet 3, scale 1:200,000 (1992).

zones, and mineral islands (Fig. 14-10), and vertical views reveal intricate spatial patterns (Fig. 14-11). Distinct vegetation zones are developed around the mineral island; these zones reflect variations in soil moisture and nutrients (Fig. 14-12).

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