A bog or bogland is a wetland that accumulates peat, a deposit of dead plant material—often mosses, and in a majority of cases, sphagnum moss. It is one of the four main types of wetlands. Other names for bogs include mire, quagmire, and muskeg; alkaline mires are called fens. They are frequently covered in ericaceous shrubs rooted in the sphagnum moss and peat. The gradual accumulation of decayed plant material in a bog functions as a carbon sink.
Bogs occur where the water at the ground surface is acidic and low in nutrients. In some cases, the water is derived entirely from precipitation, in which case they are termed ombrotrophic (cloud-fed). Water flowing out of bogs has a characteristic brown colour, which comes from dissolved peat tannins. In general, the low fertility and cool climate result in relatively slow plant growth, but decay is even slower owing to the saturated soil. Hence, peat accumulates. Large areas of the landscape can be covered many meters deep in peat.
Bogs have distinctive assemblages of animal, fungal and plant species, and are of high importance for biodiversity, particularly in landscapes that are otherwise settled and farmed.
Bogs are widely distributed in cold, temperate climes, mostly in boreal ecosystems in the Northern Hemisphere. The world's largest wetland is the peat bogs of the Western Siberian Lowlands in Russia, which cover more than a million square kilometres. Large peat bogs also occur in North America, particularly the Hudson Bay Lowland and the Mackenzie River Basin. They are less common in the Southern Hemisphere, with the largest being the Magellanic moorland, comprising some 44,000 square kilometres (17,000 sq mi). Sphagnum bogs were widespread in northern Europe but have often been cleared and drained for agriculture.
There are many highly specialised animals, fungi, and plants associated with bog habitat. Most are capable of tolerating the combination of low nutrient levels and waterlogging.(chapter 3) Sphagnum is generally abundant, along with ericaceous shrubs. The shrubs are often evergreen, which is understood to assist in conservation of nutrients. In drier locations, evergreen trees can occur, in which case the bog blends into the surrounding expanses of boreal evergreen forest. Sedges are one of the more common herbaceous species. Carnivorous plants such as sundews (Drosera) and pitcher plants (for example Sarracenia purpurea) have adapted to the low-nutrient conditions by using invertebrates as a nutrient source. Orchids have adapted to these conditions through the use of mycorrhizal fungi to extract nutrients.:88 Some shrubs such as Myrica gale (bog myrtle) have root nodules in which nitrogen fixation occurs, thereby providing another supplemental source of nitrogen.
Bogs are recognized as a significant/specific habitat type by a number of governmental and conservation agencies. They can provide habitat for mammals, such as caribou, moose, and beavers, as well as for species of nesting shorebirds, such as Siberian cranes and yellowlegs. The United Kingdom in its Biodiversity Action Plan establishes bog habitats as a priority for conservation. Russia has a large reserve system in the West Siberian Lowland. The highest protected status occurs in Zapovedniks (IUCN category IV); Gydansky and Yugansky are two prominent examples. Bogs even have distinctive insects; English bogs give a home to a yellow fly called the hairy canary fly (Phaonia jaroschewskii), and bogs in North America are habitat for a butterfly called the bog copper (Lycaena epixanthe). In Ireland, the viviparous lizard, the only known reptile in the country, dwells in bogland.
One way of classifying bogs is based upon their location in the landscape, and their source of water.
These develop in gently sloping valleys or hollows. A layer of peat fills the deepest part of the valley, and a stream may run through the surface of the bog. Valley bogs may develop in relatively dry and warm climates, but because they rely on ground or surface water, they only occur on acidic substrates.
These develop from a lake or flat marshy area, over either non-acidic or acidic substrates. Over centuries there is a progression from open lake, to a marsh, to a fen (or on acidic substrates, valley bog), to a carr, as silt or peat accumulates within the lake. Eventually, peat builds up to a level where the land surface is too flat for ground or surface water to reach the center of the wetland. This part, therefore, becomes wholly rain-fed (ombrotrophic), and the resulting acidic conditions allow the development of bog (even if the substrate is non-acidic). The bog continues to form peat, and over time a shallow dome of bog peat develops into a raised bog. The dome is typically a few meters high in the center and is often surrounded by strips of fen or other wetland vegetation at the edges or along streamsides where groundwater can percolate into the wetland.
The various types of raised bog may be divided into:
In cool climates with consistently high rainfall (on more than c. 235 days a year), the ground surface may remain waterlogged for much of the time, providing conditions for the development of bog vegetation. In these circumstances, bog develops as a layer "blanketing" much of the land, including hilltops and slopes. Although a blanket bog is more common on acidic substrates, under some conditions it may also develop on neutral or even alkaline ones, if abundant acidic rainwater predominates over the groundwater. A blanket bog cannot occur in drier or warmer climates, because under those conditions hilltops and sloping ground dry out too often for peat to form – in intermediate climates a blanket bog may be limited to areas which are shaded from direct sunshine. In periglacial climates a patterned form of blanket bog may occur, known as a string bog. In Europe, these mostly very thin peat layers without significant surface structures are distributed over the hills and valleys of Ireland, Scotland, England and Norway. In North America, blanket bogs occur predominantly in Canada east of Hudson Bay. These bogs are often still under the influence of mineral soil water (groundwater). Blanket bogs do not occur north of the 65th latitude in the northern hemisphere.
A quaking bog is a form of bog occurring in wetter parts of valley bogs and raised bogs and sometimes around the edges of acidic lakes. The bog vegetation, mostly sphagnum moss anchored by sedges (such as Carex lasiocarpa), forms a floating mat approximately half a meter thick on the surface of the water or on top of very wet peat. White spruces are also common in this bog regime. Walking on the surface causes it to move – larger movements may cause visible ripples on the surface, or they may even make trees sway. In the absence of disturbance from waves, the bog mat may eventually cover entire bays or even entire small lakes. Bogs at the edges of lakes may become detached and form floating islands.
A cataract bog is a rare ecological community formed where a permanent stream flows over a granite outcropping. The sheeting of water keeps the edges of the rock wet without eroding the soil, but in this precarious location, no tree or large shrub can maintain a roothold. The result is a narrow, permanently wet habitat.
Bogs may also be classified by the nutrient content of the peat.
A eutrophic bog, also called a minerotrophic bog, is one that lies on top of fen-peat. As a result, its water is rich in nutrients. They are found in temperate regions. Fens are an example of this kind of bog.
The Great Kemeri Bog Boardwalk is a tourist destination in Ķemeri National Park, Jūrmala, Latvia, offering visitors a chance to explore the bog and its inhabitants. Short (1.4 kilometres (0.87 mi)) and long (3.4 kilometres (2.1 mi)) boardwalk trails are present, with an observation platform popular with photographers for sunrise and sunset scenes.
After drying, peat is used as a fuel, and it has been used that way for centuries. More than 20% of home heat in Ireland comes from peat, and it is also used for fuel in Finland, Scotland, Germany, and Russia. Russia is the leading exporter of peat for fuel, at more than 90 million metric tons per year. Ireland's Bord na Móna ("peat board") was one of the first companies to mechanically harvest peat, which is being phased out.
The other major use of dried peat is as a soil amendment (sold as moss peat or sphagnum peat) to increase the soil's capacity to retain moisture and enrich the soil. It is also used as a mulch. Some distilleries, notably in the Islay whisky-producing region, use the smoke from peat fires to dry the barley used in making Scotch whisky.
Once the peat has been extracted it can be difficult to restore the wetland, since peat accumulation is a slow process. More than 90% of the bogs in England have been damaged or destroyed. In 2011 plans for the elimination of peat in gardening products were announced by the UK government.
The peat in bogs is an important place for the storage of carbon. If the peat decays, carbon dioxide would be released to the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. Undisturbed, bogs function as a carbon sink. As one example, the peatlands of the former Soviet Union were calculated to be removing 52 Tg of carbon per year from the atmosphere.:41
Peat bogs are also important in storing fresh water, particularly in the headwaters of large rivers. Even the enormous Yangtze River arises in the Ruoergai peatland near its headwaters in Tibet.(fig. 13.8)
Blueberries, cranberries, cloudberries, huckleberries, and lingonberries are harvested from the wild in bogs. Bog oak, wood that has been partially preserved by bogs, has been used in the manufacture of furniture.
Sphagnum bogs are also used for outdoor recreation, with activities including ecotourism and hunting. For example, many popular canoe routes in northern Canada include areas of peatland. Some other activities, such as all-terrain vehicle use, are especially damaging to bogs.
The anaerobic environment and presence of tannic acids within bogs can result in the remarkable preservation of organic material. Finds of such material have been made in Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Some bogs have preserved bog-wood such as ancient oak logs useful in dendrochronology, and they have yielded extremely well preserved bog bodies, with hair, organs, and skin intact, buried there thousands of years ago after apparent Germanic and Celtic human sacrifice. Excellent examples of such human specimens are Haraldskær Woman and Tollund Man in Denmark, and Lindow man found at Lindow Common in England. At Céide Fields in County Mayo in Ireland, a 5,000-year-old neolithic farming landscape has been found preserved under a blanket bog, complete with field walls and hut sites. One ancient artifact found in various bogs is bog butter, large masses of fat, usually in wooden containers. These are thought to have been food stores, of both butter and tallow.
Blanket bog or blanket mire, also known as featherbed bog, is an area of peatland, forming where there is a climate of high rainfall and a low level of evapotranspiration, allowing peat to develop not only in wet hollows but over large expanses of undulating ground. The blanketing of the ground with a variable depth of peat gives the habitat type its name. Blanket bogs are found extensively throughout the northern hemisphere - well-studied examples are found in Ireland and Britain, but vast areas of the Russian and North American tundra also qualify as blanket bogs.
In the southern hemisphere they are less well-developed due to the relatively low latitudes of the main land areas, though similar environments are reported in Patagonia, the Falkland Islands and New Zealand. The blanket bogs known as 'featherbeds' on subantarctic Macquarie Island occur on raised marine terraces; they may be up to 5 m deep, tremble or quake when walked on and can be hazardous to cross. It is doubtful whether the extremely impoverished flora of Antarctica is sufficiently well developed to be considered as blanket bogs.
In some areas of Europe, the spread of blanket bogs is traced to deforestation by prehistoric cultures.Bog-e Sagilan
Bog-e Sagilan (Persian: بگ سگيلان, also Romanized as Bog-e Sagīlān; also known as Bog-e Sehgīlān) is a village in Gavkan Rural District, in the Central District of Rigan County, Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 47, in 9 families.Bog-wood
Bog-wood, also known as abonos and morta, especially amongst pipe smokers, is a material from trees that have been buried in peat bogs and preserved from decay by the acidic and anaerobic bog conditions, sometimes for hundreds or even thousands of years. The wood is usually stained brown by tannins dissolved in the acidic water. Bog-wood represents the early stages in the fossilisation of wood, with further stages ultimately forming jet, lignite and coal over a period of many millions of years. Bog-wood may come from any tree species naturally growing near or in bogs, including oak (Quercus – "bog oak"), pine (Pinus), yew (Taxus), swamp cypress (Taxodium) and kauri (Agathis). Bog-wood is often removed from fields and placed in clearance cairns. It is a rare form of timber that is claimed to be "comparable to some of the world's most expensive tropical hardwoods".Bog Brook Reservoir
The Bog Brook Reservoir is a 379-acre (153 ha) reservoir in the Croton Watershed in southern New York State, part of the New York City water supply system. It is located in the town of Southeast in Putnam County, approximately 38 miles (61 km) north of New York City. It was formed by the damming of Bog Brook, a small tributary of the East Branch of the Croton River. The reservoir was put into service in 1892, making it one of the older in the system.
Its main function is to serve as a storage reservoir for the larger East Branch Reservoir, to which it is connected by an underground tunnel. The reservoir holds 4.4 billion US gallons (17,000,000 m3) of water at full capacity, and has a drainage basin of four square miles (10 km2).
The Bog Brook Reservoir is one of 12 reservoirs in the Croton Watershed.
From the East Branch Reservoir, the water flows into the continuation of the East Branch of the Croton River, then into The Diverting Reservoir, then via the Croton River to the Muscoot Reservoir and the New Croton Reservoir, into the New Croton Aqueduct, and finally to the Jerome Park Reservoir in the Bronx for distribution to New York City. It then flows through Manhattan, and mixes with the water from the Catskill Aqueduct.Bog body
A bog body is a human cadaver that has been naturally mummified in a peat bog. Such bodies, sometimes known as bog people, are both geographically and chronologically widespread, having been dated to between 8000 BCE and the Second World War. The unifying factor of the bog bodies is that they have been found in peat and are partially preserved; however, the actual levels of preservation vary widely from perfectly preserved to mere skeletons.Unlike most ancient human remains, bog bodies often retain their skin and internal organs due to the unusual conditions of the surrounding area. These conditions include highly acidic water, low temperature, and a lack of oxygen which combine to preserve but severely tan their skin. While the skin is well-preserved, the bones are generally not, due to the acid in the peat having dissolved the calcium phosphate of bone.
The oldest known bog body is the skeleton of Koelbjerg Man from Denmark, who has been dated to 8000 BCE, during the Mesolithic period. The oldest fleshed bog body is that of Cashel Man, who dates to 2000 BCE during the Bronze Age. The overwhelming majority of bog bodies – including examples such as Tollund Man, Grauballe Man and Lindow Man – date to the Iron Age and have been found in northwest European lands, particularly Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and Ireland. Such Iron Age bog bodies typically illustrate a number of similarities, such as violent deaths and a lack of clothing, leading archaeologists to believe that they were killed and deposited in the bogs as a part of a widespread cultural tradition of human sacrifice or the execution of criminals. The newest bog bodies are those of soldiers killed in the Russian wetlands during the Second World War.The German scientist Alfred Dieck published a catalog of more than 1,850 bog bodies that he had counted between 1939 and 1986 but most were unverified by documents or archaeological finds; and a 2002 analysis of Dieck's work by German archaeologists concluded that much of his work was unreliable.Bog garden
A bog garden employs permanently moist (but not waterlogged) soil to create a habitat for plants and creatures which thrive in such conditions. It may exploit existing poor drainage in the garden, or it may be artificially created using pond liners or other materials to trap water in the area. Any such structure must allow a small amount of seepage to prevent the water stagnating. For instance, a pond liner must be pierced a few times. Typically a bog garden consists of a shallow area adjoining a pond or other water feature, but care must be taken to prevent water draining from a higher to a lower level. The minimum sustainable depth is 40–45 cm (16–18 in). Good drainage is provided by gravel placed over the liner, and the bog can be kept watered by using a perforated hose below the surface.Plants which enjoy boggy soil or shallow water around their roots (marginals) include:
Butomus umbellatus (flowering rush)
Caltha palustris (marsh marigold)
Dionaea muscipula (Venus flytrap)
Iris pseudacorus (yellow flag)
Lysimachia nummularia (creeping jenny)
Menyanthes trifoliata (bogbean)
Myosotis scorpioides (water forget-me-not)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Persicaria amplexicaulis (red bistort)
Persicaria bistorta (bistort)
Primula pulverulenta (candelabra primula)
Sarracenia (North American pitcher plants)
Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani 'Zebrinus' (striped rush)
Scrophularia auriculata 'Variegata' (water figwort)
Trollius × cultorum (globeflower)
Utricularia (bladderworts)Bog turtle
The bog turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii ) is a critically endangered species of semiaquatic turtle in the family Emydidae. The species is endemic to the eastern United States. It was first scientifically described in 1801 after an 18th-century survey of Pennsylvania. The smallest North American turtle, its carapace measures about 10 centimeters (4 in) long when fully grown. Although the bog turtle is similar in appearance to the painted or spotted turtles, its closest relative is actually the somewhat larger wood turtle. The bog turtle can be found from Vermont in the north, south to Georgia, and west to Ohio. Diurnal and secretive, it spends most of its time buried in mud and – during the winter months – in hibernation. The bog turtle is omnivorous, feeding mainly on small invertebrates. The bog turtle is the state reptile of New Jersey.
An adult bog turtle weighs 110 grams (3.9 oz) on average. Its skin and shell are typically dark brown, with a distinctive orange spot on each side of the neck. Considered threatened at the federal level, the bog turtle is protected under the United States' Endangered Species Act. Invasive plants and urban development have eradicated much of the bog turtle's habitat, substantially reducing its numbers. Demand for the bog turtle is high in the black market pet trade, partly because of its small size and unique characteristics. Various private projects have been undertaken in an attempt to reverse the decline in the turtle's population.
The bog turtle has a low reproduction rate; females lay one clutch per year, with an average of three eggs each. The young tend to grow rapidly, reaching sexual maturity between the ages of 4 and 10 years. Bog turtles live for an average of 20 to 30 years in the wild. Since 1973, the Bronx Zoo has successfully bred the bog turtle in captivity.Fen
A fen is one of the main types of wetland, the others being grassy marshes, forested swamps, and peaty bogs. Along with bogs, fens are a kind of mire. Fens are minerotrophic peatlands, usually fed by mineral-rich surface water or groundwater. They are characterised by their distinct water chemistry, which is pH neutral or alkaline, with relatively high dissolved mineral levels but few other plant nutrients. They are usually dominated by grasses and sedges, and typically have brown mosses in general including Scorpidium or Drepanocladus. Fens frequently have a high diversity of other plant species including carnivorous plants such as Pinguicula. They may also occur along large lakes and rivers where seasonal changes in water level maintain wet soils with few woody plants. The distribution of individual species of fen plants is often closely connected to water regimes and nutrient concentrations.Fens have a characteristic set of plant species, which sometimes provide the best indicators of environmental conditions. For example, fen indicator species in New York State include Carex flava, Cladium mariscoides, Potentilla fruticosa, Pogonia ophioglossoides and Parnassia glauca.Fens are distinguished from bogs, which are acidic, low in minerals, and usually dominated by sedges and shrubs, along with abundant mosses in the genus Sphagnum. Bogs also tend to exist on dome-shaped landmasses where they receive almost all of their usually-abundant moisture from rainfall, whereas fens appear on slopes, flats, or depressions and are fed by surface and underground water in addition to rain.
Fens have been damaged in the past by land drainage, and also by peat cutting. Some are now being carefully restored with modern management methods. The principal challenges are to restore natural water flow regimes, to maintain the quality of water, and to prevent invasion by woody plants.Glyptemys
Glyptemys is a genus of turtles in the family Emydidae. It comprises two species, the bog turtle and wood turtle, both of which are endemic to North America. Until 2001, these turtles were considered members of the genus Clemmys, which currently has one member, the spotted turtle.
Full grown, these turtles grow to between 8.9 and 20 cm (3.5 and 7.9 in). These turtles are semiaquatic, although this varies based on season. Their morphological characteristics make them unique from other species and unique from each other.
Glyptemys turtles prefer slow moving streams and ponds, and feed on insects, plant matter, small invertebrates, and carrion. These turtles are protected throughout their range.Kettle (landform)
A kettle (kettle hole, pothole) is a depression/hole in an outwash plain formed by retreating glaciers or draining floodwaters. The kettles are formed as a result of blocks of dead ice left behind by retreating glaciers, which become surrounded by sediment deposited by meltwater streams as there is increased friction. The ice becomes buried in the sediment and when the ice melts, a depression is left called a kettle hole, creating a dimpled appearance on the outwash plain. Lakes often fill these kettles; these are called kettle hole lakes. Another source is the sudden drainage of an ice-dammed lake. When the block melts, the hole it leaves behind is a kettle. As the ice melts, ramparts can form around the edge of the kettle hole. The lakes that fill these holes are seldom more than 10 m (33 ft) deep and eventually become filled with sediment. In acid conditions, a kettle bog may form but in alkaline conditions, it will be kettle peatland.Lindow Man
Lindow Man, also known as Lindow II and (in jest) as Pete Marsh, is the preserved bog body of a man discovered in a peat bog at Lindow Moss near Wilmslow in Cheshire, North West England. The human remains were found on 1 August 1984 by commercial peat-cutters. Lindow Man is not the only bog body to have been found in the moss; Lindow Woman was discovered the year before, and other body parts have also been recovered. The find, described as "one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 1980s", caused a media sensation. It helped invigorate study of British bog bodies, which had previously been neglected in comparison to those found in the rest of Europe.
At the time of death, Lindow Man was a healthy male in his mid-20s, and he may have been someone of high status, as his body shows little evidence of heavy or rough work. There has been debate over the reason for Lindow Man's death, because the nature of his demise was violent, perhaps ritualistic; after a last meal of charred bread, Lindow Man was strangled, hit on the head, and his throat cut. Dating the body has proven problematic, but it is thought that Lindow Man was deposited into Lindow Moss, face down, some time between 2 BC and 119 AD, in either the Iron Age or Romano-British period.
The recovered body has been preserved by freeze-drying and is on permanent display at the British Museum, although it occasionally travels to other venues such as the Manchester Museum.Peat
Peat (), also known as turf (), is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation or organic matter. It is unique to natural areas called peatlands, bogs, mires, moors, or muskegs. The peatland ecosystem is the most efficient carbon sink on the planet, because peatland plants capture CO2 naturally released from the peat, maintaining an equilibrium. In natural peatlands, the "annual rate of biomass production is greater than the rate of decomposition", but it takes "thousands of years for peatlands to develop the deposits of 1.5 to 2.3 m [4.9 to 7.5 ft], which is the average depth of the boreal [northern] peatlands". Sphagnum moss, also called peat moss, is one of the most common components in peat, although many other plants can contribute. The biological features of Sphagnum mosses act to create a habitat aiding peat formation, a phenomenon termed 'habitat manipulation'. Soils consisting primarily of peat are known as histosols. Peat forms in wetland conditions, where flooding or stagnant water obstructs the flow of oxygen from the atmosphere, slowing the rate of decomposition.Peatlands, particularly bogs, are the primary source of peat,
although less-common wetlands including fens, pocosins, and peat swamp forests also deposit peat. Landscapes covered in peat are home to specific kinds of plants including Sphagnum moss, ericaceous shrubs, and sedges (see bog for more information on this aspect of peat). Because organic matter accumulates over thousands of years, peat deposits provide records of past vegetation and climate by preserving plant remains, such as pollen. This allows the reconstruction of past environments and study changes in land use.Peat is harvested as an important source of fuel in certain parts of the world. By volume, there are about 4 trillion cubic metres (5.2 trillion cubic yards) of peat in the world, covering a total of around 2% of the global land area (about 3 million square kilometres or 1.2 million square miles), containing about 8 billion terajoules of energy. Over time, the formation of peat is often the first step in the geological formation of other fossil fuels such as coal, particularly low-grade coal such as lignite.Depending on the agency, peat is not generally regarded as a renewable source of energy, due to its extraction rate in industrialized countries far exceeding its slow regrowth rate of 1 mm per year, and as it is also reported that peat regrowth takes place only in 30-40% of peatlands. Because of this, the UNFCCC, and another organization affiliated with the United Nations classified peat as a fossil fuel. However, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has begun to classify peat as a "slowly renewable" fuel. This is also the classification used by many in the peat industry. At 106 g CO2/MJ, the carbon dioxide emission intensity of peat is higher than that of coal (at 94.6 g CO2/MJ) and natural gas (at 56.1) (IPCC).Raised bog
Raised bogs, also called ombrotrophic bogs (ombrotrophe Moore), are acidic, wet habitats that are poor in mineral salts and are home to flora and fauna that can cope with such extreme conditions. Raised bogs, unlike fens, are exclusively fed by precipitation (ombrotrophy) and from mineral salts introduced from the air. They thus represent a special type of bog, hydrologically, ecologically and in terms of their development history, in which the growth of peat mosses over centuries or millennia plays a decisive role. They also differ in character from blanket bogs which are much thinner and occur in wetter, cloudier climatic zones.Raised bogs are very threatened by peat cutting and pollution by mineral salts from the surrounding land (due to agriculture and industry). There are hardly any raised bogs today that are still living and growing. The last great raised bog regions are found in western Siberia and Canada.Sar Bog
Sar Bog (Persian: سربگ; also known as Sar Bok) is a village in Amjaz Rural District, in the Central District of Anbarabad County, Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 19, in 4 families.Sphaerius
Sphaerius is a genus of beetles, comprising 23 species, which are the only members of the family Sphaeriusidae. They are typically found along the edges of streams and rivers, where they feed on algae; they occur on all continents except Antarctica. Three species occur in the United States.
The overall form of the beetle is convex, glossy, dark brown or black with some markings possible. The head is prominent, with relatively large eyes set far apart, and capitate antennae. Total length ranges from 0.5–1.2 mm.
The beetles occur in a variety of damp environments, including mud, under stones, among plant roots and leaf litter, and in mosses in bogs. They store some air underneath their elytra.
Females produce a single large egg at a time.
The family used to be known as "Sphaeriidae", but the name was preoccupied by a family of freshwater clams. The name was inappropriately replaced with "Microsporidae" (by changing the genus name to Microsporus), but this act has been superseded by a return to the use of Sphaerius and a reformation of the family name as Sphaeriusidae. The position of the family within Coleoptera has also changed a number of times.Sphagnum
Sphagnum is a genus of approximately 380 accepted species of mosses, commonly known as "peat moss". Accumulations of Sphagnum can store water, since both living and dead plants can hold large quantities of water inside their cells; plants may hold 16 to 26 times as much water as their dry weight, depending on the species. The empty cells help retain water in drier conditions.
Hence, as sphagnum moss grows, it can slowly spread into drier conditions, forming larger mires, both raised bogs and blanket bogs. Thus, Sphagnum can influence the composition of such habitats, with some describing Sphagnum as 'habitat manipulators'. These peat accumulations then provide habitat for a wide array of peatland plants, including sedges and ericaceous shrubs, as well as orchids and carnivorous plants.Sphagnum and the peat formed from it do not decay readily because of the phenolic compounds embedded in the moss's cell walls. In addition, bogs, like all wetlands, develop anaerobic soil conditions, which produces slower anaerobic decay rather than aerobic microbial action. Peat moss can also acidify its surroundings by taking up cations, such as calcium and magnesium, and releasing hydrogen ions.
Under the right conditions, peat can accumulate to a depth of many meters. Different species of Sphagnum have different tolerance limits for flooding and pH, so any one peatland may have a number of different Sphagnum species.Individual peat moss plants consist of a main stem, with tightly arranged clusters of branch fascicles usually consisting of two or three spreading branches and two to four hanging branches. The top of the plant, or capitulum, has compact clusters of young branches. Along the stem are scattered leaves of various shapes, named stem leaves; the shape varies according to species. The leaves consist of two kinds of cells; small, green, living cells (chlorophyllose cells), and large, clear, structural, dead cells (hyaline cells). The latter have the large water-holding capacity.Toilet paper
Toilet paper, sometimes called toilet tissue in Britain, is a tissue paper product people primarily use to clean the anus and surrounding area of fecal material after defecation and to clean the perineal area of urine after urination and other bodily fluid releases. It also acts as a layer of protection for the hands during these processes. It is usually supplied as a long strip of perforated paper wrapped around a paperboard core for storage in a dispenser near a toilet. Most modern toilet paper in the developed world is designed to decompose in septic tanks, whereas some other bathroom and facial tissues are not. Toilet paper comes in various numbers of plies (layers of thickness), from one- to six-ply, with more back-to-back plies providing greater strength and absorbency.
The use of paper for hygiene has been recorded in China in the 6th century AD, with specifically manufactured toilet paper being mass-produced in the 14th century. Modern commercial toilet paper originated in the 19th century, with a patent for roll-based dispensers being made in 1883.Tollund Man
Tollund Man is a naturally mummified corpse of a man who lived during the 4th century BC, during the period characterised in Scandinavia as the Pre-Roman Iron Age. He was found in 1950, preserved as a bog body, on the Jutland peninsula. The man's physical features were so well-preserved that he was mistaken at the time of discovery for a recent murder victim. Twelve years before Tollund Man's discovery, another bog body, Elling Woman, had been found in the same bog.Scholars believe the man was a human sacrifice rather than executed criminal because of the arranged position of his body, and the fact that his eyes and mouth were closed.Volo Bog State Natural Area
Volo Bog State Natural Area is a nature reserve in Illinois, United States, preserving Volo Bog. The bog was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1973 as the only remaining open-water quaking bog in Illinois. The site also contains woodlands, savanna, marshes, prairie restoration areas, shrubland and old fields. Maintained by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (Illinois DNR), the site is located about a mile west of U.S. Route 12 between the towns of Volo and Fox Lake, Illinois.