Peatland conservation is becoming increasingly important as we understand more about the
ecosystem services that peatlands provide such as carbon sequestration and water management.
Pristine peatlands also host highly specialised vegetation assemblages which in turn provide habitat
for a unique range of other wildlife. Invertebrates, a crucial part in the functioning of peatland, benefit
especially from vegetation complexity and simultaneously support a greater diversity of higher taxa
wildlife such as birds.
As many peatlands have been degraded and lost through peat extraction and intense land
management (e.g. timber plantations, overgrazing, burning). Very recently, the IUCN UK Commission
of Enquiry on Peatlands highlighted the threats faced by peatlands and set out a framework for the
action required to protect and enhance the remaining resource. Alongside this initiative there has
been a major push for peatland restoration by many conservation bodies such as the RSPB, the John
Muir Trust, Scottish Wildlife Trust and many more.
Overall we hope that the outcome of this project will be to contribute to better understanding of how
conservation measures and land management can protect specialised and vulnerable peatland
species. In particular, this project will enhance the overall knowledge of invertebrate communities in
peatlands and their response to restoration processes. As we will be working with a chronosequence
of restoration activities we will gain a good understanding about how restoration impacts on insects
at various stages of the process.
Additionally, this project will also provide an account of the invertebrate species richness and a
species list of Coleoptera and Hemiptera found at Forsinard Nature Reserve.