Finland, Country of Mires
Mires are very much part of the natural scene in Finland, where the cool, moist climate and the relatively flat relief facilitate the gradual accumulation of peat. About a third of the whole country once consisted of mires.
Mires can be found everywhere in Finland, from low-lying coastal areas to the high fells of Lapland. Different types of mire ecosystem have developed in each region, as can most clearly be seen in the varied nature of larger mire complexes.
Aapa mires dominate in northern and central Finland, while further south raised bogs are more common. Aapa mires are found where evaporation is slow and there is enough melt water in the spring to keep mires wet throughout the summer. Aapa mires are often rich in nutrients, particularly those formed in areas with calcareous soils, where uniquely rich mire plant communities can be found.
The central areas of raised bogs are considerably higher than the surrounding areas, due to the accumulation of peat. This means plant communities can no longer obtain any nutrients from mineral soils around or beneath the peat, but rather they depend on rainwater for nutrients. Only species with relatively low nutrient requirements can thrive in raised bogs.
The natural diversity of mire ecosystems in Finland is uniquely rich.