On a recent trip into the Marble Mountain Wilderness to map and monitor whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) on the Klamath National Forest, I found myself near Isinglass Lake. I had read that the only population of great sundew (Drosera anglica) in the Klamath Mountains was documented here in 1972. I knew there was a Klamath Mountain peat bog to be found.
Peat bogs develop when surface water is acidic and therefore low in nutrients. Plant growth is slow due to the low levels of nutrients, but decomposition is even slower. Plant material accumulates as a floating layer of soil above the surface water. This creates a raft of soil–amazing stuff! Check out the video below.
The water in the lake, which we drank, was brownish in color and tasted of tannins. Certain species can deal with low nutrients and slowly decomposing soil including the two species highlighted below.