Skip to main content

Climate driven changes in the functioning of heath and moorland ecosystems

Objective



In line with present observations and predicted future climatic changes the overall objective of the CLIMOOR project is to study the impact and interactions of increasing night temperatures and prolonged summer droughts on the functioning of heathland and moorland ecosystems, in particular organic matter turnover, vegetation responses, drainage water quality and greenhouse gas emission. The project is a joint project between Denmark (2 partners), the Netherlands (2 partners), Wales, Spain and Norway.

The CLIMOOR project involves experimental field studies on sites across climatic and nitrogen deposition gradients in Europe in combination with C and N cycling models.

The main component of the CLIMOOR project is ecosystem manipulation experiments by means of sliding roofs. 20 m2 roofs will be placed at a height of about 1 m above the soil surface. Two kind of roofs will be used:

1) Roofs for the night-warming treatment will be covered wit IR-reflecting material. At night, these roofs slide automatically over the treatment plots preventing the emission of IR radiation. In the case of night-time precipitation the roofs will automatically be removed.

2) Summer-drought roofs are made of a transparent synthetic material. They will be sliding automatically above the vegetation only in summer in case of a precipitation event. Combined treatments will be conducted involving both roof types. The night time heating by sliding roofs will heat the whole ecosystem and not just the soil as has been the case in most soil warming projects.

The measurements of the effects will focus on changes in ecosystem functioning, in particular the build up and decomposition of soil organic matter and changes in plant growth and species composition. The pools and fluxes of major nutrients will be measured with special emphasis on C and N compounds. The results will be related to measurements of climate, atmospheric input, soil conditions and emission of green house gases and key factors determining the functioning of the ecosystem and the response to climatic changes will be identified.

Modelling will play an important role within the project:

i) linking and relating results across the gradients in climate and deposition employed within the project;

ii) close collaboration between the experimental work and the modelling will ensure continuous flow of information gained in the field work to improve the models and

iii) relating the results to other climate change experiments and extrapolating the results in time and space.

The project will increase our understanding of temperature and water interactions on ecosystem functioning which is essential for examination of potential effects of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems.

Coordinator

RISOE NATIONAL LABORATORY
Address
Frederiksborgvej 399
4000 Roskilde
Denmark

Participants (5)

CENTRE DE RECERCA ECOLOGIA I APLICACIONS FORESTALS
Spain
Address
Univ. Autonoma De Barcelona - Edifici C
08193 Bellaterra
DANISH FOREST AND LANDSCAPE RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Denmark
Address
11,Hoersholm Kongevej 11
2970 Hoersholm
Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek
Netherlands
Address
65,Bornsesteeg 65
6700PD Wageningen
NERC Institute of Terrestrial Ecology
United Kingdom
Address
Deiniol Road
LL57 2UW Bangor
Universiteit van Amsterdam
Netherlands
Address
130,Nieuwe Prinsengracht
1018 VZ Amsterdam