Peat is a soil type formed from slowly decomposing vegetation. It is found in wet areas where the lack of oxygen slows the breakdown of plant matter. Peatlands are areas containing peat. They support distinct types of vegetation. Peat bogs are particularly wet areas of peatland. Peatlands and bogs occur widely in the Arctic. The presence of permafrost reduces drainage of upper soil layers. Also low temperatures slow down the rate of plant matter breakdown (decomposition). These conditions favour the build-up of peat. Arctic tundra regions contain about 12-14% of the world’s soil carbon. Boreal and subarctic regions hold an estimated 30% of global soil carbon.

See also Palsa mire.

EU Logo