species, primarily Sphagnum magellanicum
Brid., are used internationally as a substrate for horticulture.
Market demands have promoted indiscriminate exploitation leading to a number of potentially negative ecological and
social consequences, including disruption of Sphagnum
ecosystems, changes in water storage capacity of moss wetlands
affecting water supply to rural communities and reduction of biodiversity. This study proposes improvements in harvesting
techniques to ensure moss regeneration and promote sustainability of moss cover in harvested areas. The aim of this study
was to determine the maximum harvesting depth for moss regeneration. Samples were taken and divided into sections
associated with different depths. We recorded and marked the number of new green shoots of Sphagnum
monthly. We found
a negative relation between regeneration (appearance of new shoots) and depth. Our studies showed that 90% of new shoots
recorded in 6-mo of measurements appeared within the first 12 cm depth. This work allowed us to generate some practical
recommendations to farmers about maximum harvesting depth. To ensure regeneration, we recommend harvesting up to
12 cm below surface.