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Peat forms in wetland conditions, where flooding or stagnant water obstructs the flow of oxygen from the atmosphere, slowing the rate of decomposition.
although less-common wetlands including fens, pocosins, and peat swamp forests also deposit peat.
Soils consisting primarily of peat are known as histosols.
In a widely cited article, Joosten and Clarke (2002) defined peatlands or mires (which they claim are the same)..most widespread of all wetland types in the world, representing 50 to 70% of global wetlands.
They cover over 4 million square kilometres [1.5 million square miles] or 3% of the land and freshwater surface of the planet.
It is composed mainly of wetland vegetation: principally bog plants including mosses, sedges, and shrubs. This slowly creates wetter conditions that allow the area of wetland to expand.
Peatland features can include ponds, ridges, and raised bogs.