Britain’s highest bog: can we unlock its secrets?

Bragg, Olivia M., Basford, Philip, Black, Andrew R., Bragg, Graeme, Hart, Jane and Martinez, Kirk (2016) Britain’s highest bog: can we unlock its secrets? At 15th International Peat Congress 2016, Malaysia. 15 - 19 Aug 2016. 5 pp.


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The Glenfeshie Mòine Mhór (Great Moss) is Britain’s highest bog, the largest bog in the Cairngorm Mountains (Scotland) and a water source area for the River Spey. The area was managed primarily for sport hunting for about two centuries, but deer numbers have been heavily reduced in the last decade to allow regeneration of natural woodland and the return to more natural condition of all ecosystems including peatland. However, it may not be realistic to expect spontaneous improvement in peatland condition and ecosystem services provision in the harsh environment of the Mòine Mhór, which retains snow cover for more than half the year and differs floristically from lower-altitude bogs. To understand whether and where management intervention may be required, we need first to understand how the system works at scales ranging from microform to macrotope, and from sub-catchment to whole-system level. Multi-disciplinary condition and process studies (involving various collaborators) are in progress, with a current emphasis on streamflow generation and fluvial carbon loads. This presentation develops two sub-themes. First, ground survey and GIS analysis are used to address the questions: what are the special features of this bog; what is the nature and extent of degradation; and what are the implications for water delivered to the outflow streams? Secondly, a striking feature is the bare peat patches which were favourite resting places for deer on warm, dry summer days. The occurrence of seasonally extreme surface conditions seems a likely factor in preventing their recolonisation by bog plants now. Information about these conditions that cannot readily be accessed through direct observation, originating from temperature sensors and delivered at 60-minute intervals via a low power internet link, is explored in this context. Finally, we discuss aspects of the suitability of our investigation methods for remote and intermittently accessible field sites such as the Mòine Mhór.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Venue - Dates: 15th International Peat Congress 2016, Malaysia, 2016-08-15 - 2016-08-19
Related URLs:
Organisations: Web & Internet Science, Earth Surface Dynamics
ePrint ID: 397018
Date :
Date Event
17 May 2016Accepted/In Press
August 2016e-pub ahead of print
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2016 09:24
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 02:43
Further Information:Google Scholar

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