Mire complex parts (scale three) are entities with uniform combinations of certain hydrotopographic levels. Formenteile of raised bog complexes (Aario 1932) are traditional and well-known. Corresponding entities in aapa mires are not established yet, but have been recently presented in a case study (Laitinen et al. 2005a). Aapa mires may firstly be subdivided into two morphological main types. Unimodal aapa mire complexes (a) lack the flark fen and are characterised by the central lawn fen. Such aapa mires have been described especially from the southern subzones of the southern aapa mire zone in Finland (Ruuhijrvi 1960, 1983). Bimodal aapa mire complex type is characterised by the presence of central flark fen and narrower or broader peripheral lawns fens (including hummock-level mires). Patterned fens are the main type in flark fens of bimodal aapa mire complexes (Laitinen et al. 2005a).
Central reservoir basins (flark crosses, flark triangles, Sjrs 1973, 1983) are typical to network-like aapa mire systems, where watersheds situate in the middle of the systems. Reservoir-infiltration basins form a rare mire unit on sandy mineral soil, where seasonal drought is typical of flark areas (Laitinen et al. 2005a). Peripheral lobes or fringes form the bulk of aapa-mire peripheries.
Broad peripheral lobes are typical of southern aapa mires, narrow peripheral fringes probably more typical of the aapa mires of the main aapa mire zone (Ruuhijrvi 1983). Interlobate soaks situate between peripheral lobes and they are typical at least of the southern aapa mire zone (Laitinen et al. 2005a).
Soaks may situate between small raised bogs, too, as within the classical Stormosse in central Sweden (Sjrs 1948).
Principal microtopographic features (scale four) of raised mires are hummock ridges (kermis) and hollows, those of aapa mires strings and flarks (rimpis). Strings are either lawns strings or Sphagnum fuscum strings. When the latter are truly ombrotrophic, it is question of string mixed mires according to Scandinavian typologies (e.g. Moen 1999).
Conclusion The present morphological typology mainly represents the traditional Finnish typology for mire complexes from the point of view their morphology.
Additions include the closer consideration of scale, the hydrotopographic subdivision of aapa mires, considering transitional complexes and considering certain aro wetlands as parts of mire complexes. The typology is mainly intended for aerial photo interpretation of mire complex systems.
Hydrotopographic diversity and representativeness of mire complex systems in different mire zones (Ruuhijrvi 1983) can be evaluated with this system.
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THE MIRE PROTECTION PROCESS IN FINLAND DURING THE 20th CENTURY T. LINDHOLM.1, R. HEIKKILFinnish Environment Institute, Tapio.Lindholm@ymparisto.fi Kainuu Regional Environmental Centre, Raimo.Heikkila@ymparisto.fi The extent of mires and their utilization Finland's original mire area has covered a total of about 10,4 million hectares (Ilvessalo 1956), representing about one third of the country's entire land area. The term mire covers here also all wooded, but paludified habitats.
Thus some of the mires have been also forest with fairly good timber production and a greater deal of mires have been sparserly wooded with poor timber production and the rest of the mires have been open. In geological sense (> 20 ha > 0.3 m) the area of mires has been about 5 million ha (Lappalainen & Hnninen 1993). In northern Finland, in the northern and middle boreal forest zone there are areas where more than 60 % of the land area has been covered by mire vegatation, while in some southern parts of Finland the proportion of mires has been under 10 % of land area. Reasons to this are differences in both climate and topography of the landscape (Ruuhijrvi 1988).
In the 1950s, spruce mires have covered 26%, pine mires 46%, open bogs and fens 27%, swamps 1% and rich fens 0,4% of pristine mires (Ilvessalo 1956). In late 1980s the percentages were 18% for spruce mires, 35% for pine mires, 45% for open bogs and fens, 2% for swamps and 0,01% for rich fens (Eurola et al. 1991). Between these two studies about 50% of the mires were drained for forestry, and for example the amount of rich fens in late 1980s was only 5% of the amount in early 1950s (Heikkil 1992).
The utilization of mires has been has been much more intensive in Finland than in other northern regions in the world. Forestry, agriculture and peat harvesting have in general destroyed original mire habitats, and hence also the fauna and flora. Forestry is an important industrial sector in Finland and pristine mires have been regarded as a valuable resource for forestry.
Therefore, large areas of mires have been drained for forestry purposes, covering a total of 5.9 million hectares of former mires. Thus Finland has carried out the worlds most extensive programme of mire draining, being most active in 1970 s, when almost 3 000 km2 of mires were drained annually.
Up till now, draining of pristine mires has almost ceased, and most activities are concentrated on the maintaining of ditches in peatland forests. As a part of peatland forestry, forestry roads have covered about 35 000 ha of mires (Lappalainen & Hnninen 1993).
The agricultural use of mires has reduced the mire area by about 1,million. ha. Especially rich fens and fertile spruce mires, and their specialized fauna and flora have disappeared (Heikkil 1991). The activity of peatland agriculture was great in 1950s and 1960s. At present there are only few activities to establish new areas for peatland agriculture. Instead, some 85% of these fields have been abandoned and some of them have been converted to peatland forests.
Peat mining is concentrated in the central parts of the country. About 662 000 ha have been reserved for future peat mining, but at the moment some 100 000 ha have been taken in peat mining (Lappalainen & Hnninen 1993).
Some large mire areas have been drowned in water reservoirs (60 000 ha). Peat mining is still growing in Finland, and new mires are needed. There have been agreements between environment administration and ministry of trade and industry about which mires should be protected, and which to be used for peat mining. By time the situation has changed, and a re-evaluation has been made in the 1990s. However, there are still a number of valuable mires for protection, threatened by peat mining.
Formerly many mires - particularly in northern Finland - have been used for collecting winter fodder for livestock. In many areas most of the open mires, growing sedges and grasses have been used as mire meadows. This kind of activity is now history. The long tradition ceased in 1950s, as well as domestic peat harvesting for cattle litter. This kind of use has not destroyed mires. Instead, there is evidence, that the management has favoured rich fen vegetation.
Due to this, a great deal of mire site types are nowadays endagered, in southern Finland more than 25 % of all site types (Aapala et al. 1996), and many species of plants, animals and fungi have disappeared from large areas (Rassi & al 1992, 2001, Heikkil 1990). Nationally only 5 % of endangered species are mire species, because in Lapland there are still much intact mires, but to the south of Polar Circle, 25 % of regionally endangered plant species are mire plants (Heikkil 1995).
Threats for mires There are several rare mire vegetation types, e.g. remaining rich fens, which are in danger of being destroyed in the near future due to drying up because of ditchings in the surroundings. Mire margins are still generally threatened due to loggings in wooded sites, followed by soil treatment, which in many cases is ditching. Many undrained, but still vulnerable, marginal site types, such as spruce mires are often valuable for many old forest species, which have also become endagered. These spruce mires are ecologically fire refugies (Pntynen 1929, Sjberg & Ericson 1992) with special fauna and flora. The mosaic landscape of mires and forests has been characteristic for the Finnish nature. Most of that has been destroyed by forestry drainage. The remaining fragments of this kind of landscape mosaic should be protected.
Also the value of successional series of land uplift mires has been realized only recently, and the remaining few sites are still threatened by forestry (Heikkil 1995).
There have been great changes in the ideology of forestry during the last decade years (e.g. Korhonen 1994). The drainage of pristine mires for forestry is not any more supported by the state, but still especially mire margins are in danger, because they are often destroyed in connection with the maintaining of old ditches of drained areas.
Mire conservation Rich fens and fertile spruce mires were rather early found to have decreased due to agriculture and forestry, and their protection was considered to be important to protect the diversity of plants (e.g. Kujala 1939). Isoviita (1955) was the first to pay attention to the disappearing of pristine raised bogs, and to emphasize the protection of them. In 1956, strict nature reserves of Vaskijrvi, Hdetkeidas and Runkaus were established to protect good examples of raised bogs and aapamires for scientific purposes.
The need to prepare national mire protection programmes became evident in 1960s This urgent need was created by a wide forestry draining programme financed by World bank. The result of that was a mire protection programme to Southern Finnish State land. Soon it was understood that the protection plan should be extended to private mires (Hyrinen & Ruuhijrvi 1968, Keltikangas 1969, Ruuhijrvi 1970). Later the protection programme was made also to the mires in Northern Finland (Hyrinen & Ruuhijrvi 1969).
The plans covered 180 000 hectares of state-owned mires, mainly large mire complexes in northern Finland (Hyrinen & Ruuhijrvi 1966, 1969). Special attention was paid to mire complexes and bird fauna.
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