A bog is an area where the earth is constantly wet. Because the ground is always soaked with water like a wet sponge, only certain plants and animals can live there. There are hardly any animals that live in the bog soil itself. But there are many insects, for example, butterflies, spiders or beetles. Special mosses and carnivorous plants, such as the sundew, grow in the bog.
A bog is not the same as a swamp. If you drain a swamp, fertile soil remains, on which you can very well plant a field. In a bog, it stays moist for many years and peat is formed.
How are bogs formed?
Moore didn’t always exist on earth. They only arose after the last ice age. During the Ice Age, large areas of the earth were covered with ice. As it got warmer, the ice melted and turned into water. At the same time, it rained a lot after the last ice age. In some places, there were floors that do not let water through. Where there were valleys or “dips” in the ground, lakes could form.
Plants that like water now grow on these lakes. When these plants die, they sink to the bottom of the lake. However, the plants cannot completely rot underwater, because there is very little oxygen in the soil due to a large amount of water. A kind of mud is formed from water and the plant remains.
What remains of the plants over time is called peat. As more and more plants gradually die off, more and more peat is produced. The bog grows very slowly over many years. The peat layer grows about one millimeter per year.
Even dead animals or even people sometimes do not decompose in a bog. They are therefore sometimes found even after centuries. Such finds are called bog bodies.
What Moors are there?
There are different types of bogs:
Low moors are also called flat moors. They get most of their water from underground. This is the case where there was a lake, for example. Water may flow underground into the bog, for example through a spring.
Raised bogs are formed when it rains a lot throughout the year. Raised bogs can therefore also be called “rainwater bogs”. They got their name “Hochmoor” from the curved surface, which can look like a small belly. Particularly rare plants and animals live in a raised bog. One of them is peat moss, which often covers large areas of raised bogs.
How to use Moore?
People used to think that the bog was useless. They have allowed the moors to dry up. It is also said: The people have “drained” the moor. They dug ditches through which the water could drain. People then mined the peat and used it for burning, fertilizing their fields, or building houses with it. Today, peat is still sold as potting soil.
But today, moors are rarely drained: it has been recognized that many animals and plants can only live in moors. If the moors are destroyed and the peat is removed, the animals and plants lose their habitat. They cannot live anywhere else because they only feel comfortable in and around the moor.
Moors are also important for climate protection: the plants store the climate-damaging gas carbon dioxide. They then convert it to carbon. Plants store a lot of carbon in the peat of a bog.
Many bogs are nature reserves. Today, therefore, people are even trying to restore bogs. It is also said that the moors are “rewetted”. However, this is very complex and takes many years.