Ecosystem Moor

Information about the Moor ecosystem:

Moore are permanently wet and swampy landscapes, mainly overgrown with peat mosses and grasses. The soil consists of not completely decomposed plant components, the so-called peat, Due to the constant water level and the associated lack of oxygen, decomposition processes in marshes are only slowed down. This results in a peculiarity in this ecosystem: in the bog, the growth in mass of plant biomass exceeds that of decomposition, i. E. The plants grow faster than they can be decomposed later. In addition, the acidic environment (pH value at about 3) in bog water provides for poor conditions for microorganisms. Compared to other ecosystems, the number of bacteria in the bog is therefore comparatively low. Finally, the tannins released by the plants additionally slow down the breakdown of organic matter.
Moors play an important role in the environment by storing carbon dioxide. The greenhouse gas needs the plants of the bogs during photosynthesis. Due to the positive balance of the formation of biomass, the bogs (more precisely, the plants) with their growth permanently withdraw carbon from the circulation. Only by burning the peat does the carbon dioxide get back into the atmosphere.

Comparison bog and fen

In principle, two different types of bogs can be distinguished on the basis of origin and maintenance. The moor draws its water exclusively on rainfalls, whereas that fen from groundwater sources, river water or seawater. In addition, intermediate forms or transitional forms of both moors are possible.

High moor (rain moor)Fen (flat moor)
terrainhigh, archedflat
depth1 - 8m1 - 3m
PH value2,5 - 5 (sour)4 - 7 (acid to neutral)
vegetationGrass, peat mossReeds, water grass, alders
water supplyNiederschlдgeGroundwater, river water
species richnesslowhigh
Moor growthvery slowlyslowly
usepeatAgriculture / Livestock


Already the old Rцmer operated peat mining in the big style in Northern and Central Europe. Dried peat is suitable because of it flammability as a heating medium, as well as hard coal, peat consists mainly of carbon. In the process from dead plant material to hard coal, peat is the first step in the process. Until hard coal has formed from peat, it requires several million years under high pressure and permanently anaerobic (non-oxygen) conditions.
The peat in the Ecosystem Moor arises much faster. As a rough estimate of raised bogs, 1mm height growth per year is realistic. After that, the moor in 10 years = 1cm, in 100 years = 10cm and in 1000 years = 100cm. A moor with a peat depth of 8m therefore has an age of 8000 years.