Bog walk on the boardwalk
Bogs are amazing ecosystems but are also fragile and threatened. They are formed in landscape depressions that are poorly drained and only receive new water input from rain or snowfall. The lack of oxygen in the stagnant water creates acidic, nutrient poor conditions, slowing decomposition of debris to a snails pace. Sphagnum moss is adapted to such poor conditions but grows very slowly, about 2 to 12cm per year (0.5-4″) per year. Peat, soil formed by poorly decomposed sphagnum moss, accumulates in the depression even more slowly – about 1mm per year. Very specific plants and trees grow in peaty soils, as seen in the picture – Shrubs of the Ericaceae family (i.e. leatherleaf, red shrub), black spruce (visible conifer with green needles) and tamarack (bare, not dead, coniferous trees).