Uplands burning: Study casts doubt on current evidence

A landmark study showing the negative impacts of blanket bog burning on water and peat quality is “flawed” and “unreliable”, according to a team of researchers.

Published in 2014, the EMBER project compared five burnt and five unburnt river catchments within the Pennines to assess the environmental impacts of burning. It found clear negative effects, including on aquatic biodiversity and soil structure, within the burnt catchments.

But a new paper, appearing in the Journal of Applied Ecology, has highlighted “a series of important but overlooked methodological flaws” in the 2014 set of studies. 

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