Skip to main content
Select Source:

peat

peat An organic soil or deposit; in Britain, a soil with an O horizon at least 40 cm thick. Peat formation occurs when decomposition is slow owing to anaerobic conditions associated with waterlogging. Decomposition of cellulose and hemicellulose is particularly slow for Sphagnum plants, which are characteristic of such sites, and hence are among the principal peat-forming plants. Fen and bog peats differ considerably. In fen peats the presence of calcium in the ground water neutralizes acidity, often leading to the disappearance of plant structure, giving a black, structureless peat. Bog peats, formed in much more acidic waters, vary according to the main plants involved. Species identification of constituents (including those of animals as well as of plants) remains possible after long periods. Recent bog-moss (Sphagnum) peat is light in colour, with the structure of the mosses perfectly preserved.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"peat." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"peat." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peat-1

"peat." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peat-1

peat

peat An organic soil or deposit; in Britain, a soil with an O horizon at least 40 cm thick. Peat formation occurs when decomposition is slow owing to anaerobic conditions associated with waterlogging. Decomposition of cellulose and hemicellulose is particularly slow for Sphagnum plants, which are characteristic of such sites, and hence among the principal peat-forming plants. Fen and bog peats differ considerably. In fen peats the presence of calcium in the groundwater neutralizes acidity, often leading to the disappearance of plant structure, giving a black, structureless peat. Bog peats, formed in much more acidic waters, vary according to the main plants involved. Species identification of constituents (including those of animals as well as of plants) remains possible after long periods. Recent bog-moss (Sphagnum) peat is light in colour, with the structure of the mosses perfectly preserved.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"peat." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"peat." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peat-0

"peat." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peat-0

peat

peat An organic soil or deposit; in Britain, a soil with an organic soil horizon at least 40 cm thick. Peat formation occurs when decomposition is slow owing to anaerobic conditions associated with waterlogging. Decomposition of cellulose and hemicellulose is particularly slow for Sphagnum plants, which are characteristic of such sites, and hence among the principal peatforming plants. Fen and bog peats differ considerably. In fen peats the presence of calcium in the groundwater neutralizes acidity, often leading to the disappearance of plant structure, giving a black, structureless peat. Bog peats, formed in much more acidic waters, vary according to the main plants involved. Species identification of constituents (including animals as well as plants) remains possible after long periods. Recent bog-moss (Sphagnum) peat is light in colour, with the structure of the mosses perfectly preserved.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"peat." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"peat." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peat

"peat." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peat

peat

peat, soil material consisting of partially decomposed organic matter, usually found in swamps and bogs in various parts of the temperate zone. It is formed by the slow decay of successive layers of aquatic and semiaquatic plants, e.g., sedges, reeds, rushes, and mosses. One of the principal types of peat is moss peat, derived primarily from sphagnum moss; it is used in agriculture as poultry and stable litters as well as a mulch, a soil conditioner, and an acidifying agent; it is also used in industry as an insulating material. Another type of peat is fuel peat, which is most widely used in regions where coal and wood are scarce, e.g., Ireland, Scandinavia, and parts of Russia. Peat is the earliest stage of transition from compressed plant growth to the formation of coal. A large and untypical peatland was found in N Congo-Brazzaville and neighboring Congo-Kinshasa in 2014; the tropical swamps was estimated to extend over 40,000 to 80,000 sq mi (100,000–200,000 sq km). Large deposits of peat in the United States are found in Michigan, California, and the Florida Everglades.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"peat." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"peat." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/peat

"peat." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/peat

peat

peat / pēt/ • n. a brown, soil-like material characteristic of boggy, acid ground, consisting of partly decomposed vegetable matter. It is widely cut and dried for use in gardening and as fuel: cuttings are rooted in a homemade mixture of equal parts peat and sand | [as adj.] most of Lewis is acid peat bog. DERIVATIVES: peat·y adj.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"peat." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"peat." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peat-0

"peat." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peat-0

peat

peat A mass of dark-brown or black fibrous plant debris produced by the partial disintegration of vegetation in wet places (see hydrosere). It may accumulate in depressions. When subjected to burial and hence pressure and heat it may be converted to coal. Peat is used to improve soil and as a fuel, especially in Ireland and Sweden.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"peat." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"peat." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peat-2

"peat." A Dictionary of Biology. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peat-2

peat

peat Dark brown or black mass of partly decomposed plant material. It forms in bogs and areas of high rainfall, and contains a high proportion of water. It is thought to be similar to the first stage in the formation of coal, and its high carbon content makes it suitable for use as a fuel.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"peat." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"peat." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/peat

"peat." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/peat

peat

peat XIV. — AL. peta (XII), also in petamora ‘peatmoor’, petaria, -er(i)a peat-bog, perh. f. the Celt. base *pett-, which is prob. the ult. source of PIECE.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"peat." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"peat." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peat-1

"peat." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peat-1

peat

peataccrete, beat, beet, bittersweet, bleat, cheat, cleat, clubfeet, compete, compleat, complete, conceit, Crete, deceit, delete, deplete, discreet, discrete, eat, effete, élite, entreat, escheat, estreat, excrete, feat, feet, fleet, gîte, greet, heat, leat, leet, Magritte, maltreat, marguerite, meat, meet, mesquite, mete, mistreat, neat, outcompete, peat, Pete, petite, pleat, receipt, replete, seat, secrete, sheet, skeet, sleet, splay-feet, street, suite, sweet, teat, treat, tweet, wheat •backbeat • heartbeat • deadbeat •breakbeat • offbeat • browbeat •downbeat • drumbeat • upbeat •sugar beet • Blackfeet • flatfeet •forefeet • exegete • polychaete •lorikeet • parakeet •athlete, biathlete, decathlete, heptathlete, pentathlete, triathlete •kick-pleat • paraclete • obsolete •gamete • crabmeat • sweetmeat •mincemeat • forcemeat • backstreet •concrete • window seat

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"peat." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"peat." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peat

"peat." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peat