Cors Fochno, located north of Aberystwyth, is one of the most intact lowland raised bogs in England and Wales. Northern raised bogs are large stores of carbon, and concerns have been raised about how they will react to climate change.
Established in 2010, the Cors Fochno experiment investigates peatland response to climate change, focusing on the combined impacts of drought and warming. Cors Fochno is the only experiment globally to include both long-term warming and active simulation of realistic summer drought by pumping.
The experiment consists of crossed treatments of warming using open top chambers and intermittent groundwater pumping. Passive warming chambers warm the peat surface whilst drought treatments are imposed July- September.
There are twelve hydrologically-isolated plots measuring 2 x 2m. The four treatments are replicated three times, treatments are: 3 control sites, 3 drained sites, 3 passively warmed sites, and 3 warmed and drained sites.
Data is collected measuring gas emissions (CH₄, CO₂ and NOₓ), temperature and water table depth.
The experiment is a collaboration between Dr Sylvia Toet (University of York), Dr James Rowson (Edge Hill University), Prof Simon Caporn (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Prof Nancy Dise (CEH) and for the last three years has been run by PhD student Martin Kay (Manchester Metropolitan University).
Read our most recent blog on Cors Fochno by its former Principal Investigator Richard Payne here.
Listen to a recent interview with James Rowson of Edge Hill University here, conducted at the experimental site by ECT’s Executive Director. James highlights the importance of long-term experiments in the context of the climate change study at Cors Fochno LTE.