Great Basin Naturalist


A unique fen peatland, on the Califomia coast, depends on six streams for its supply of flowing, mineral-rich water. About 25 percent of the water is supplied by surface streams that had average concentrations of Ca++ from 0.15 meq/1 to 0.32 meq/1 and of Mg++ from 0.25 meq/1 to 0.47 meq/1. During the dry summer period oxygen concentration and pH were lower in the central area than in the ten margins. Water flow near the margins maintains high O2, pH, and cation content. The fen ranges from 4 m to over 11 m in depth, but the thickest peat layer is made up of very liquid, unconsolidated peat. In one year, an estimated 19.3 metric tons of suspended sediment entered the 38.6 ha fen, which was equivalent to a 42 kg/ha loss from the total watershed.