Ford, H.; Garbutt, A.; Skov, M.

Coastal Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (CBESS) soil moisture content from three soil depths on salt marsh sites at Morecambe Bay and Essex

The dataset comprises the field soil moisture content expressed as a percentage at three depth zones, (0 - 10 centimetre (cm), 10 - 20 cm and 20 - 30 cm), measured from bulk density soil samples taken within each 1 metre x 1 metre quadrat. Sampling was conducted at six salt marsh sites at four spatial scales: 1 metre (m) (the minimal sampling unit) nested within a hierarchy of increasing scales of 1-10 m, 10-100 m and 100-1000 m. Three of the sites were in Morecambe Bay, North West England and three of the sites were in Essex, South East England. The Morecambe Bay samples were taken during the winter and summer of 2013. The Essex samples were taken during the winter, early spring and summer of 2013. Samples were taken using a bulk density ring. Soil moisture content was determined by weighing the samples as fresh field mass and then again after being dried out at 105 degrees Celsius for 72 hours.
This data was collected as part of Coastal Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (CBESS): NE/J015644/1. The project was funded with support from the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS) programme. BESS is a six-year programme (2011-2017) funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) as part of the UK's Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) programme.

Publication date: 2016-05-03

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Supporting documentation

Format of the dataset : Comma-separated values (CSV)

This dataset is made available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

You must cite: Ford, H.; Garbutt, A.; Skov, M. (2016). Coastal Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (CBESS) soil moisture content from three soil depths on salt marsh sites at Morecambe Bay and Essex. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre.


© Bangor University


Study area
Temporal extent
2013-01-01    to    2013-08-31

Provenance & quality

Field soil moisture was measured from bulk density samples taken at roughly 0-10 centimetre (cm), 10-20 cm and 20-30 cm depth zones with a 3.1 cm height, 7 cm diameter bulk density ring for each quadrat. Samples were weighed (in grams to two decimal places) at fresh field mass then again after 72 hours at 105 degrees Celsius to determine water content. Data were recorded onto field sheets. These data were transferred into an Excel spreadsheet and calculations carried out. Results were exported as comma separated value files for ingestion into the EIDC. The location of the sample sites was determined by randomly allocated quadrats. Each site consisted of a rectangular area of saltmarsh between 400 x 500 metre (m) to 1000 x 1000 m in size, dependent upon saltmarsh length (parallel to shore) and width (perpendicular to shore), including part of the low, mid and high marsh zones. Twenty two 1 x 1 m quadrats were randomly allocated to each site rectangle using R (R Development Core Team, 2014) to specify four different spatial scales (A = 1 quadrat only, B = 3 quadrats at 1 m to 10 m apart, C = 6 quadrats at 10 m to 100 m apart, D = 12 quadrats at 100 m to 1000 m or site maximum).

Correspondence/contact details

Dr Hilary Ford
University of Bangor
Thoday Building, Deiniol Road
LL57 2UW


Ford, H.
University of Bangor
Garbutt, A.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Skov, M.
University of Bangor

Other contacts

Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre


Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)


Topic categories
Habitats and Biotopes
BESS (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability),  CBESS (Coastal Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability),  Essex Morecambe Bay Salt marsh,  soil,  soil moisture content