Bog: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Bog

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lütt-Witt Moor, a bog in Henstedt-Ulzburg in northern Germany.

A bog or mire is a wetland type that accumulates acidic peat, a deposit of dead plant material—usually mosses, but also lichens in Arctic climates.

Bogs occur where the water at the ground surface is acidic, either from acidic ground water, or where water is derived entirely from precipitation, when they are termed ombrotrophic (rain-fed). Water flowing out of bogs has a characteristic brown color, from dissolved peat tannins. Bogs are very sensitive habitats, of high importance for biodiversity.


Distribution and extent

Viru Bog, located in Lahemaa National Park in northern Estonia.

Bogs are widely distributed in cold, temperate climes, mostly in the northern hemisphere (Boreal). The world's largest wetlands are the bogs of the Western Siberian Lowlands in Russia, which cover more than 600,000 square kilometres. Sphagnum bogs were widespread in northern Europe. Ireland was more than 15% bog (Achill Island off Ireland is 87% bog), Scotland, Denmark, Estonia (20% bog lands), Finland (26%), northern Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. There are extensive bogs in Canada and Alaska (called muskeg). There are also bogs in Patagonia and the Falkland Islands in the southern hemisphere. Ombrotrophic wetlands (of which bogs are an example) are also found in the tropics, with notable areas documented in Kalimantan; these habitats are forested so would be better called acidic swamps.

Types of bog

Bog habitats may develop in various situations, depending on the climate and topography (see also hydrosere succession). The main types are:

Valley bog

These develop in gently sloping valleys or hollows. A layer of peat fills the deepest part of the valley, and a stream may run through the surface of the bog. Valley bogs may develop in relatively dry and warm climates, but because they rely on ground or surface water, they only occur on acidic substrates.

Raised bog

These develop from a lake or flat marshy area, over either non-acidic or acidic substrates. Over centuries there is a progression from open lake, to marsh, then fen (or on acidic substrates, valley bog) and carr, as silt or peat fill the lake. Eventually peat builds up to a level where the land surface is too flat for ground or surface water to reach the center of the wetland. This part therefore becomes wholly rain-fed (ombrotrophic), and the resulting acidic conditions allow the development of bog (even if the substrate is non-acidic). The bog continues to form peat, and over time a shallow dome of bog peat develops: a raised bog. The dome is typically a few meters high in the center, and is often surrounded by strips of fen or other wetland vegetation at the edges or along streamsides, where ground water can percolate into the wetland.

Blanket bog

In cool climates with consistently high rainfall, the ground surface may remain waterlogged for much of the time, providing conditions for the development of bog vegetation. In these circumstances bog develops as a layer "blanketing" much of the land, including hilltops and slopes. Although blanket bog is more common on acidic substrates, under some conditions it may also develop on neutral or even alkaline ones, if abundant acidic rainwater predominates over the ground water. Blanket bog cannot occur in drier or warmer climates, because under those conditions hilltops and sloping ground dry out too often for peat to form – in intermediate climates blanket bog may be limited to areas which are shaded from direct sunshine. In periglacial climates a patterned form of blanket bog may occur: string bog.

Quaking bog

Wetmore Pond, located in the Huron Mountain Range in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, is an example of quaking bog formation.

Quaking bog or schwingmoor is a form of bog occurring in wetter parts of valley bogs and raised bogs, and sometimes around the edges of acidic lakes where bog is beginning to form. The bog vegetation forms a mat half a metre or so thick, floating over water or very wet peat. Walking on this surface causes it to move – larger movements may cause visible ripples of the surface, or they may even make trees sway.

Bog habitats

Virgin boreal acid bogs at Brown's Lake Bog, Ohio. The tree cover is not typical of a bog.

There are many animals and plants associated with bog habitat. The species restricted to bogs are known as tyrphobionts and species characteristic of bogs but not confined to them are called tyrphophiles. Bogs are recognized as a significant/specific habitat type by a number of governmental and conservation agencies. For example, the United Kingdom in its Biodiversity Action Plan establishes bog habitats as a priority for conservation. Bogs are challenging environments for plant life because they are low in nutrients and very acidic. Carnivorous plants have adapted to these conditions by using insects as a nutrient source. The high acidity of bogs and the absorption of water by sphagnum moss reduce the amount of water available for plants. Some bog plants, such as Leatherleaf, have waxy leaves to help retain moisture. Bogs also offer a unique environment for animals. For instance, English bogs give a home to the boghopper beetle and a yellow fly called the hairy canary fly.

Sphagnum bog vegetation, Tříjezerní slať, Šumava.


Industrial uses

A bog is a very early stage in the formation of coal deposits. In fact, bogs can catch fire and often sustain long-lasting smoldering blazes, producing smoke and carbon dioxide, thus causing health and environmental problems. After drying, peat is used as a fuel. More than 20% of home heat in Ireland comes from peat, and it is also used for fuel in Finland, Scotland, Germany, and Russia. Russia is the leading extractor of peat for fuel at more than 90 million metric tons per year. Ireland's Bord na Móna ("peat board") was one of the first companies to mechanically harvest peat.

The other major use of dried peat is as a soil amendment (sold as moss peat or sphagnum peat) to increase the soil's capacity to retain moisture and enrich the soil. It is also used as a mulch. Some distilleries, notably Laphroaig, use peat fires to smoke the barley used in making Scotch whisky. More than 90% of the bogs in England have been damaged or destroyed.[1][2]

Other uses

Bog Huckleberry at Polly's Cove, Nova Scotia

Blueberries, cranberries, cloudberries, huckleberries and lingonberries are harvested from the wild in bogs. Bog oak, wood that has been partially preserved by bogs, has been used in manufacture of furniture.

Sphagnum bogs are also used for sport, but this can be damaging. All-terrain vehicles are especially damaging to bogs. Bog snorkeling is popular in England and Wales. Llanwrtyd Wells, the smallest town in Wales, hosts the World Bog Snorkelling Championships. In this event, competitors with mask, snorkel, and scuba fins swim along a trench cut through a peat bog.


Bog-wood and boulders at the Stumpy Knowe near South Auchenmade, Ayrshire, Scotland.

The anaerobic environment and presence of tannic acids within bogs can result in the remarkable preservation of organic material. Finds of such material have been made in Denmark, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Some bogs have preserved ancient oak logs useful in dendrochronology, and they have yielded extremely well-preserved bog bodies, with organs, skin, and hair intact, buried there thousands of years ago after apparent Germanic and Celtic human sacrifice. Excellent examples of such human specimens are Haraldskær Woman and Tollund Man in Denmark,[3] and Lindow man found at Lindow Common in England. At Céide Fields in County Mayo in Ireland, a 5000 year old neolithic farming landscape has been found preserved under a blanket bog, complete with field walls and hut sites. One ancient artifact found in bogs in many places is bog butter, large masses of fat, usually in wooden containers. These are thought to have been food stores, of both butter and tallow.

See also


  1. ^ BBC NEWS | England | Cumbria | Insight into threatened peat bogs
  2. ^ The RSPB: Policy
  3. ^ P.V. Glob, The Bog People: Iron Age Man Preserved

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BOG (from Ir. and Gael. bogach, bog, soft), a tract of soft, spongy, water-logged ground, composed of vegetation, chiefly mosses, in various stages of decomposition. This vegetable matter when partially decomposed forms the substance known as "peat" (q.v.). When the accumulation of water is rapidly increased by excessive rainfall, there is a danger of a "bog-slide," or "bog-burst," which may obliterate the neighbouring cultivated land with a deposit of the contents of the bog. Destructive bog-slides have occurred in Ireland, such as that of the Knocknageeha Bog, Rathmore, Kerry, in 1896, at Castlerea, Roscommon, 1901, and at Kilmore, Galway, 1909.

There is a French game of cards called "bog," said to be of Italian origin, played with a piquet pack on a table with six divisions, one of which is known by the name of the game and forms the pool. It was fashionable during the Second Empire.

<< Boetius

Karl Heinrich Von Bogatzky >>


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun

Bog m.

  1. God

Related terms


Proper noun

Bog m.

  1. God

See also


Proper noun

Bog m. (Cyrillic spelling Бог)

  1. God

Related terms


Proper noun

Bog m.

  1. God

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address