The formation of modern marshes in the north of Europe began with the retreat of the glaciers about 10 thousand years ago. This process is actively continuing today. Initially, it began in the humid depressions of the relief and on the lakes.
Countless generations of moisture-loving plants, replacing each other, died off and were deposited in the form of peat. The peat mass, like a sponge, absorbing and accumulating atmospheric precipitation and groundwater, became an amazing environment, combining the features of the lake and land.
Types of Kenozero bogs
A fen or an eutrophic bog (Greek: eutrophia (from eu - «well» + trephein - «nourish») feeds on groundwater. It is characterized by plants that require abundant mineral nutrition – common bog bean, marsh horsetail, sabelnik, Utricularia intermedia, reed, cotton grass, marsh calla, Bryidae. Plants form plant communities, and gradually they form a weakly acidic peat rich in elements of mineral nutrition, which is called lowland peat. The share of lowland swamps in the national park is 397 hectares.
Raised bogs are also called oligotrophic bogs (fr om Greek adjective oligos meaning «few» and the adjective trophikos meaning «feeding»). The plants that live on raised bogs receive nutrients with atmospheric precipitation. The main inhabitants of such marshes are sphagnum mosses. They form unique living conditions, wh ere droughts and an abundance of very cold water are just next to each other. A number of plants have to adapt to these conditions - heather, bog tea, marsh holy rose, sweet gale, fenberry, crowberry, dwarf birch, round-leaved sundew, early marsh orchid, checkweed, mud sedge and many others. Peat, formed on oligotrophic bogs, is poor in mineral substances and is highly acidic. On the territory of the national park, the upper marshes are represented by large tracts, the total area of which is 3,346 hectares. The most interesting swamp arrays of this type are Palommokh, swamp Bolshoye.
Poor fens or mesotrophic bogs (from the Greek mezo – «average») in general combine the signs of fens and raised bogs. On these swamps, you can meet representatives of both marshes. Dwarf forms of pine, birch, spruce and even Siberian larch are typical found here. Fens in the territory of the national park occupy an area of 3296 hectares.
Animal world of swamps
Specific conditions of bogs form a specific species composition of the animal world. Of the birds here are seasonal visitors to open landscapes - a gray crane, Eurasian curlew, a spotted crake, a snipe, a reed warbler, reed bunting, a ruff, a short-eared owl, a marsh harrier, a black grouse. On the islets of forests among the swamps nest predators are found - kestrel, haglock, osprey, golden eagle. Marshes are summer pastures for elk, in the first half of winter hares feed here, and by the time of the harvest of berries the bear comes. The outskirts are inhabited by a curator, a vole-housekeeper, and during the breeding season, there are grassy and pointed frogs, a gray toad.