Bussières, J., Rochefort, L. and Lapointe, L. 2015. Cloudberry cultivation in cutover peatland: Improved growth on less decomposed peat. Can. J. Plant Sci. 95: 479-489. Cloudberry cultivation is being seriously considered as a rehabilitation option for industrial peatlands after horticultural peat extraction has ceased. Besides increasing the ecological and economic values of these sites, cloudberry cultivation could improve fruit yield and facilitate fruit harvesting compared to picking in natural peatlands. Previous studies reported slow establishment that was tentatively associated with substrate characteristics. Field and greenhouse experiments were thus conducted to better characterize the impact of different peat substrates in combination with restoration techniques on the growth of male and female clones. Cloudberry grew much better in less-decomposed fibric peat (H1-H3) than in more-decomposed mesic peat. Restoring the moss layer of the former peat field would thus need to precede cloudberry planting by a few years, in order to plant the rhizomes in a newly formed fibric peat layer. Male clones produced larger leaves and more ramets per rhizome than female clones under common greenhouse conditions, which indicated that differences between sexes are most likely genetic rather than environmental. Furthermore, we found cloudberry clones may be very sensitive to aluminium toxicity. In conclusion, the degree of peat decomposition appears to be one of the key factors determining the success of cloudberry plantations.
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Vol. 95 • No. 3