Field research platforms
Whim Bog is a typical Calluna vulgaris – Eriophorum vaginatum ombotrophic blanket bog (UK national vegetation classification NVC M19a). The site is equipped to apply different experimental treatments at quantified levels of nitrogen addition: (1) Dry deposition of ammonia gas (NH3) using an automated free-air release system to apply airborne nitrogen year-round from a point source along a 60m x 10m downwind transect; (2) Wet deposition of reduced nitrogen (NH4) and oxidised nitrogen (NO3) using a reservoir-and-pipe system to spray nitrogen-dosed rainwater under appropriate meteorological conditions onto 44 replicated plots each 13m2 in area; (3) Phosphorus and potassium additions to 16 plots to compare the effects of nitrogen with and without limitations of other nutrients. Meteorological conditions are measured both to control the experimental treatments and to interpret the results. Vegetation composition (diversity and abundance) and ecosystem function (biogeochemistry) is monitored to assess the effects of elevated nitrogen.
The Whim Bog Peatland Nitrogen Pollution Experiment was established in 2002 to support a strategic research programme on Global Nitrogen Enrichment (GaNE), funded by NERC and Defra. Further milestones in the development of Whim Bog as an experimental platform include: (2006) joined a large EU network of manipulation experiments under NitroEurope; (2008) became an Ecological Continuity Trust Site aiming to safeguard long-term unique field experiments; (2010) became an ExpeER site hosting transnational access visitors (2010-15); (2011) joined the ECLAIRE project looking at effects of climate change on air pollution impacts and response strategies for European Ecosystems (2011-2015); (2016) integrated into Burnsmuir Landscape in Long-Term Ecosystem Research in Europe (eLTER).
The Whim Bog experimental platform provides a globally unique study of how peatland ecosystems respond to different levels and forms of nitrogen (N) deposition. The experiment is large scale, applying treatments in a real world scenario, with over 100 ISI publications and reports, and directly informs air quality legislation on critical levels and loads.
The Whim Bog peatland nitrogen pollution experiment, including nitrogen-addition facilities, is operated by UKCEH and is part of the EU Horizon 2020 programme eLTER network - European Long-term Ecosystem Research. It is also a Ecological Continuity Trust (ECT) site.
The Whim Bog peatland nitrogen pollution experimental facility is available for use by other research organisations, usually in collaboration with UKCEH: initial enquiries via UKCEH Edinburgh. Data are available via the UKCEH Environmental Information Data Centre (EIDC) and publications. Met data is currently available on request and is due to be published via the Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA) in 2022.
Whim Bog is located in the Scottish Borders (southern Scotland: 3°16′W, 55°46′N).
The Whim Bog experimental platform is currently funded by the UKRI/NERC National Capability (LTSS): UK-SCAPE programme. It was originally established under the NERC-Defra Global Atmospheric Nitrogen Enrichment (GANE) programme, and subsequently funded by a succession of UK and EU programmes.
The Whim Bog peatland nitrogen pollution experimental facility is currently used by UKCEH researchers, and contributes to the European eLTER network.
Area, city, farm, habitat
28 April 2022 13:27