Joint research project: Sphagnum farming on former bog grassland (currently used as pastures or meadows).

The cultivation of Sphagnum on cut-over bog was tested successfully at our 1200m² large pilot site (project TORFMOOS). Also the cultivation of grassland on bog is an unsustainable form of land use. With 150,000 ha of bog grassland, the federal state of Lower Saxony provides the biggest potential for Sphagnum farming in Germany. Sphagnum growth on bog grassland sods was successfully tested in greenhouse experiments. Consequently a field experiment on 4 ha (10 acres) was installed to assess the prospects of Sphagnum farming on industrial scale on former bog grassland (project MOOSGRÜN).


Within the large-scale pilot site in the peatland ‘Hankhauser Moor’ (county Ammerland, Lower Saxony) following, partly size-related factors are being assessed:

  • establishment and development of Sphagnum species on former bog grassland (UG),
  • effects on biodiversity (plant species (UG), spider fauna (Muster)),
  • risk potential of growth inhibitory factors (pests) (UG),
  • hydrological requirements of Sphagnum cultures (water budget) (Hydrotelm),
  • balancing the fluxes of greenhouse gas emissions of the production areas, the irrigation system and causeways of a Sphagnum farming site (UniRo),
  • technical feasibility (DTG, MoKuRa) and
  • profitability of Sphagnum farming (UG).
  • To extend the application range of Sphagnum as a constituent of growing media tests concerning ericaceous plants and orchids are conducted (LVG, HWST).

Research at the study site Ramsloh (county Cloppenburg, Lower Saxony), which was installed in 2004 within the project TORFMOOS will be continued to observe long-term effects (UG).

Joint network partners

  • German Peat Society mbH (DTG)
  • University of Greifswald,
    Institute for Botany and Landscape Ecology (UG)
  • Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences (HWST)
  • Hydrotelm and Dr. Dittrich & Partner Hydro-Consult GmbH (Hydrotelm)
  • Research Institute for horticulture Bad Zwischenahn (LVG)
  • Torfwerk Moorkultur Ramsloh Werner Koch GmbH & Co. KG (MoKuRa)
  • Dr. Christoph Muster (Muster)
  • University of Rostock (UniRo)