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Pokljuka (Goreljek Pit Bog)

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The Peat bogs on Pokljuka are the southernmost high bogs in Europe that are still preserved.
Peat bogs on Goreljek have an area of ​​two hectares and are located at an altitude of 1240 m.

Peat bogs are an important habitat for rare and endangered plant species and contribute to biodiversity. The bogs have been preserved only in some areas, especially in the lowest area of ​​the wide Goreljek mountain pasture and below the Castle mountain pasture.
Barja Šijec, Veliko Blejsko barje, Goreljek and Mlake pod Javorovim vrhom are the largest, but there are also many smaller bog areas. Some are well preserved, some are in danger of extinction.

The formation of bogs on Pokljuka began after the last ice age in the period 12,000 - 18,000 years ago. The retreating Bohinj Glacier, which with its left wing covered today's karst plateau world of Pokljuka, left behind small bodies of water that filled the hollows with an impermeable bottom covered with moraine debris of the glacier and fine sand and clay. Over the millennia, these water basins have been filled with organic remains of the aquatic plants that inhabited them. Aquatic Ph was becoming increasingly acidic and selectively promoted the growth and development of certain plants. The area was inhabited by bog mosses, which are still the predominant species in the overgrowing of bog area. The bog mosses took root in the upper part of the layer, and a carbonization process took place in the lower layers. The mosses thus retreated upwards and raised the base, which extended upwards into the typical shape of the domes of a raised moor. Due to such a raised base, this type of bog was given the name "high bog".
In addition to acid soil, peat is characterized by poor nutritional value of the substrate and large daily temperature differences. During evolution, plants thus adapted to these extreme conditions. Several species of plants have developed the ability to catch insects and thus obtain the necessary nutrients (carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia). For less water loss, some plants have developed thick waxy leaf surfaces or extensive root systems.

Today, an approximately 1 km long educational trail with information boards about the peat bog runs around the Goreljek peat bog.

Literature: A. Melik, Slovenian Alpine Council, p. 172-175, Slovenska matica, 1954.

Boštjan Burger, January 18, 2022

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