Carbon Catchments

Figure 1The CEH Carbon Catchments is an established network of 4 UK peatland sites (Forsinard, Auchencorth Moss, Moor House, Upper Conwy), which aims to quantify the overall long-term carbon balance of individual peatlands by measuring or calculating all key C flux terms (Figure 1).  This involves linking the land-atmosphere C flux (measured using eddy covariance and chamber methods) to downstream fluxes of POC, DOC, DIC and gaseous forms of carbon (Figure 2) [Dinsmore et al., 2010].

The Carbon Catchments also aims to provide a framework for other related and collaborative research and a platform for PhD training.Figure 2

Terrestrial measurements at the Auchencorth Moss site include net ecosystem exchange (NEE) measured continuously since 2002 [Helfter et al., 2014], CH4 measured sporadically using static chambers since 2006 [Dinsmore et al., 2009] and more recently CH4 by eddy covariance. These are linked to downstream losses of dissolved organic and inorganic carbon, particulate organic carbon and both downstream and evasion losses of the dissolved greenhouse gases (GHGs) CO2, CH4 and N2O which have been measured continuously since 2006 [Dinsmore et al., 2013].

Additional on-site measurements including discharge from the Black Burn which drains the site, and meteorological data are also available.

Photos of the Black Burn which drains the site.

Black Burn 1

Black Burn 2



Dinsmore, K. J., M. F. Billett, and K. E. Dyson (2013), Temperature and precipitation drive temporal variability in aquatic carbon and GHG concentrations and fluxes in a peatland catchment, Global Change Biology, 19(7), 2133-2148.

Dinsmore, K. J., U. Skiba, M. F. Billett, R. M. Rees, and J. Drewer (2009), Spatial and temporal variability in CH4 and N2O fluxes from a Scottish ombrotrophic peatland; implications for modelling and upscaling, Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 41, 1315-1323.

Dinsmore, K. J., M. F. Billett, U. M. Skiba, R. t. M. Rees, J. Drewer, and C. Helfter (2010), Role of the aquatic pathway in the carbon and greenhouse gas budgets of a peatland catchment, Global Change Biology, 16(10), 2750-2762.

Helfter, C., C. Campbell, K. J. Dinsmore, J. Drewer, M. Coyle, M. Anderson, U. Skiba, E. Nemitz, M. F. Billett, and M. A. Sutton (2014), Drivers of long-term variability in CO2 net ecosystem exchange in a temperate peatland, Biogeosciences Discuss., 11(10), 14981-15018.