Highbush blueberry: a tasty exotic in high peatland.
Highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) is an invasive plant in the peatland area of De Peel, province of Noord-Brabant, Netherlands. The plant is highly efficient in taking up ammonium and has profited from extremely high nitrogen deposit levels in the eighties and nineties. Tall plants (2-4 m) and high evaporation levels (2-4 litres/day) decrease groundwater levels significantly and result in the drying out of upper peat layers. Blueberry leaves are poorly decomposted and the litter layer is different from peat moss. The best control method is a combination of removal of plants and improvement of conditions for peat formation (especially as young blueberries do not like wet conditions or high groundwater levels).