Solvent-extractable matter of Sphagnum (S) and Carex (C) peats of different degrees of humification (S, H2-H8; C, H3-H8) were isolated, saponified and analyzed. The C peat material was found to contain more extract than the S peat (C, 9.3%; S, 5.9%, on average). In both peat series the extract content increased with increasing degree of humification. In both peats the unsaponifiable, non-volatile polymeric matter comprised the biggest part, nearly one half on average, of the saponified extracts, which also were analyzed for their lipid components and other volatile materials. These fractions accounted for over one third and nearly one fifth, respectively. The total amounts of all these three categories generally increased, as did those of the individual lipid groups, with increasing humification. However, the relative minimum of the polymers and the relative maximum of the analyzed lipid compounds were found in the samples of H4 in both peat series. Fatty and ω-hydroxy acids were the most abundant lipid groups, together accounting for 70-90% of the analyzed lipids. Sterols and 1-alkanols were clearly more abundant in the S peat. The relative amounts of the lipid groups did not show a distinct dependence on the degree of humification in either peat series. The individual lipid group compositions of both peat types were very similar although some exceptions were found.
Keywords: Carex , humification, peat lipids, Sphagnum