Reader ‘s opinion The lifting of moss from swamps as a component of soil products must be stopped

The excavation of mosses completely changes the neva: the variability of rots and rhymes is destroyed, the plants and insects in the bog lose their habitat.

Gardening companies have begun to promote new soil products that involve a “growth moss”. It is said to be a “rapidly renewable environmentally friendly soil ingredient”.

Growth moss refers to curd moss. Perhaps horticultural companies do not want to indicate the correct content of the soil in the brand names, as the public has seen harsh images of the bogs from which the moss comes. Biolan has apologized for digging mosses in the Sarvineva of Kihniö. According to the company, there had been “excesses” (Aamulehti 14.11.2020).

Situation has not improved. Soil moss is still roughed into soil products, and mainly from those parts of the bogs that were spared from massive drainage in the 1960s and 1980s. After all, mosses do not thrive on dry land.

42 moss species grow in Finland. Each has their own living requirements and roles in the ecosystem. The excavation of mosses completely changes the neva: the variability of rots and rhymes is destroyed, the plants and insects in the bog lose their habitat. Through insects, the effects can also be reflected in birds. The climate is also strained, because when the moss surface of the bog is peeled off, methane begins to be released into the atmosphere without filtration. The intact crayfish moss system is home to bacteria that break down methane into carbon dioxide and water for plant use.

Modeling according to the list of curd mosses would be renewed in 15-30 years. I would not characterize the pace as “fast” like garden companies. There are no long-term follow-up studies. No one knows when the peeled bog will again be able to maintain the variety book and sequester carbon as before.

The transition zone between mosses and peat is volatile, and therefore surface peat often rises with mosses. It is incomprehensible that moss can be dug in Finland only with the permission of the landowner. If you want to dig the same bog in the name of peat extraction, you must apply for an environmental permit.

The permit practice urgently needs to be extended to the raising of mosses in order to even help to ensure that undrained bogs are not dug open in complete silence.

The drainage rate in the bogs of Southern Finland is over 75 per cent. The swamps saved from the ditches are not stocks of raw materials but ecosystems that support the biodiversity necessary for humans and store carbon.

Peat burning in Finland is gradually coming to an end, and growth peat is also viewed critically.

I understand entrepreneurs in the horticultural sector concerns about where the products are grown, if peat can no longer be used. However, curd moss is not the right answer.

Society is moving towards a circular economy. In the future, the growing media should also be ecologically sustainable, ie based on something other than our unique bogs – for example, composting or reed plants.

Product development is in a hurry, and the challenge can be seen as positive. There are also export opportunities. In Britain, for example, a target has been set to phase out the use of growing peat for bog protection.

Demand for smokeless products is growing.

Anni Kytömäki

author, Hämeenkyrö

Reader opinions are speeches written by HS readers, selected and delivered by HS editorial. You can leave a comment or learn about the principles of writing at www.hs.fi/kirjtamielipidekirjoitus/.

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