MI4 Other mire uses
Historically over 6% of the original mire area has been drained to create farmland. The building of roads and water reservoirs has claimed another 1–2%. Since 1990 no large-scale development projects have affected pristine mires, although considerable areas of mires are still being converted into fields, also including some pristine patches.
Almost 50 000 hectares of mires has been left under water reservoirs which were built for the needs of energy production and flood control. Most water reservoirs were finnished by the early 1980s.
Impact on biodiversity
Practically all mire vegetation disappears after draining and convertion to agricultural fields. Species richness is all in all significantly lowered. Field margins may however develop into diverse habitats and support a variable composition of farmland species. Some of the mire fauna may nevertheless survive even after the transformation of their habitat. Some bird species, for example Common Crane and Whimbrel, may continue living around the new field.
Field clearing has affected mainly the most nutrient rich mire types, such as spruce-birch fens. They convert to more productive farmland than poorer mire types, which have been utilized mainly by small farms. The construction of roads and water reservoirs usually destroys the local mire habitat and its species altogether.
|This indicator will be updated every ten years at minimum.|
- Updated (14.05.2013)