Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    Peatland Properties Influencing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Removal
    A nationwide peatland survey was conducted across 50 ombrotrophic peatlands (bogs) in Ireland to ascertain a wide range of peat properties. In addition to natural (relatively intact) sites, we surveyed the most prevalent peatland land use categories (LUCs): grassland, forestry and peat extraction (both industrial and domestic), as well as management options (deep drained; shallow drained; rewetting). Furthermore, the entirety of the peat profile (down to the sub-peat mineral soil/bedrock) was sampled. Our results demonstrate that Irish bogs have been drastically altered by human activities and that the sampled peat properties reflect the nature and magnitude of the impact of the land use and management.
  • Publication
    Impacts of a mature forestry plantation on blanket peatland runoff regime and water quality
    A lack of information concerning the hydrology and hydrogeology of intact blanket bogs limits current understanding of how their alteration to mature forestry plantations impacts stream flow and associated water quality. An integrated hydrological/hydrogeological monitoring programme compared processes operating in a relatively intact blanket peat-covered catchment with conditions encountered in an adjacent area under closed canopy plantation forestry. Groundwater monitoring revealed contrasting water level regimes and deeper summer water tables in the afforested area, with forest groundwater also having more elevated specific electrical conductance (SEC) and containing higher concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Near-simultaneous pairwise runoff sampling at the relatively intact catchment and afforested catchment outlets demonstrated no significant difference in DOC concentration. Conversely, water samples from the afforested catchment outlet displayed significantly greater SEC; this arose in part because of higher concentrations of dissolved calcium and magnesium, discharging via artificial drainage. Comparison of base flow runoff SEC with peat groundwater samples reflected in significant contrasts in ionic signature and greater levels of mineralisation in surface water, pointing to contributions of deeper water, derived from inorganic substrate materials. Study findings indicate that disturbance to the ground in that part of the catchment under plantation forestry has led to greater variations in stream flow and water quality for aquatic ecosystems. Comparable conditions have been observed instreams flowing through plantation forestry in similar physical settings elsewhere. Study findings suggest that plantations on deep peat can adversely affect stream ecosystems and this may impact on a water body's legal status.