Author: Lin Ying
J Integr Plant Biol 1956, 5 (1): -.
This paper is devoted to a study of the fundamental condition of the peat-bogs on Mount Hsishan near Nanchang, Kiangsi Province. It deals chiefly with the natural environment in the middle part of the mountain range, such as the distribution of the bogs, the historical causes of their formation, their types, the characteristics of the peat, and the methods of collecting the peat samples in each layer. It offers some preliminary scientific data for this investigation.
The peat-bogs of Mount Hsishan are distributed in the intermontane basins of 500–900 metres high above the sea level lying on both sides of the water parting in the middle part of this mountain range. The existing peat-bogs come to a total area of roughly 209.5 mou. Among them are 27 bogs whose area is more than one mou each and the largest one occupies an area of 18 mou; the average area of these bogs is around 7.7 mou. The depth of the peat deposition ranges from 5 to 400 cm, the average being around one metre.
The historic causes for the formation of the peat-bogs in Mount Hsishan lie chiefly in the fact that the mountain glacier of the Quarternary period, or in other words the cirque, on the water parting in the middle part of this mountain range gave rise to a large number of cirque topographic features-the intermontane basins-in which bogs were formed of the accumulated water. And as the result of the succession of vegetation, peat-bogs of different types have thus appeared. Among them the transitional moors are dominant, next come the low moors, while the high moors are fewest in number.
The main vegetation cover of the peat-bogs comprises nine different associations, namely, (1) Zizania caduciflora association, (2) Acorus calamus association, (3) Scirpus tabernaemontani association, (4) Scirpus cyperinus association, (5) Rhynchospora faberi association, (6) Alnus trabeculosa association, (7) Salix sp. association, (8) Vaccinium sp. association and (9) Sphagnum cymbifolium association. Of these nine associations, the Scirpus cyperinus association is most widely distributed; the Sphagnum cymbifolium association exists in only three bogs, in Lake Hsi-yao of which it flourishes most.
Because of the luxuriant growth of the Sphagnum cymbifolium association in Lake Hsi-yao, a number of hillocks of this association have formed. And meanwhile a kind of insectivorous plant, Utricularia intermedia, appears in this association, signifying that the nourishing substance of this association has entered a stage of extreme privation.
Within one metre from the surface of the peat stratum, the temperaure of the peat soil varies rather intensely, but this temperature changes very little when the depth goes beyond one metre. In spring and summer the temperature on the surface of the peat-bogs is about 20 ℃ different from that of the peat soil three metres down in the peat stratum.
The results of analyses of the organic content and water content of the peat show that generally the organic wetter contained in the peat is greater in quantity in the basal part of the peat stream than that on the surface of it, while the water content is just in the reverse order. It has been further found that the peat beneath the Sphagnum cymbifolium association is one which contains the lowest percentage of organic matter but the highest percentage of water.