For the small-scale experiments, four main monitoring areas were set up within each of the two sub-catchments at each of the three field sites.
Above: Mossdale after burning (some black areas) Mossdale after mowing Whitendale "do nothing" plot within mown area
These monitoring areas were selected to have similar vegetation composition (heather dominated) and slope ranges (5-10°) but different aspects (about 45 degree differences) (see Figure below and explanations in the Expt design section) and are treated as ‘blocks’ within the statistical analysis (e.g. ANOVA) when data for all three field sites are considered together for treatment effects. Within each block, potential plot locations were initially surveyed manually so that the blocks within a catchment (burnt: C vs mown: T) could be matched for peat depth within a site. Final monitoring plots were 5 x 5 m (marked with posts) and contained over time fixed (metal pegs) monitoring locations for water table depth [WTD], vegetation [1x1], methane [CH4], soil respiration [SR] and net ecosystem exchange [NEE]) (see below figure). NEE plot locations also remained the same after management (i.e. cut or burnt) and flux measurements followed regrowth on these initially heather-dominated plots. Metal detectors were used to relocate the precise locations after management (i.e. brash covered the plots and measurement locations).
Three slope transects (located nearby one of the three blocks per sub-catchment - to capture a range of slope and aspect conditions) contain additional monitoring stations to assess slope and aspect impacts on water table, runoff DOC, peat depth, bulk density and soil temperature, suitable for model parameterisation for later up-scaling (i.e. topographic effect). Cranefly emergence and transects also included those slope areas. However, no flux measurements were conducted at slope locations.