Britain's Highest Bog: Can we unlock its secrets?

Olivia Bragg, Philip J Bashford, Andrew Black, Graeme M Bragg, Jane K Hart, Kirk Martinez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th International Peat Congress 2016
Place of PublicationKuching, Malaysia
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016
Event15th International Peat Congress 2016 - Pullman Hotel, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Duration: 15 Aug 201619 Aug 2016
http://www.ipc2016.com/docs/2nd-Secular-28-10-15.pdf (Link to conference website)

Conference

Conference15th International Peat Congress 2016
CountryMalaysia
CitySarawak
Period15/08/1619/08/16
Internet address

Fingerprint

bog
peatland
deer
service provision
recolonization
sport
ecosystem service
snow cover
moss
hunting
streamflow
peat
woodland
outflow
regeneration
GIS
catchment
sensor
water
degradation

Keywords

  • bare peat
  • Cairngorms
  • environmental sensor network
  • Internet of Things
  • vegetation

Cite this

Bragg, O., J Bashford, P., Black, A., M Bragg, G., K Hart, J., & Martinez, K. (2016). Britain's Highest Bog: Can we unlock its secrets? In Proceedings of the 15th International Peat Congress 2016 Kuching, Malaysia.
Bragg, Olivia ; J Bashford, Philip ; Black, Andrew ; M Bragg, Graeme ; K Hart, Jane ; Martinez, Kirk. / Britain's Highest Bog : Can we unlock its secrets?. Proceedings of the 15th International Peat Congress 2016. Kuching, Malaysia, 2016.
@inproceedings{06e5f7e23b5948c0becb7ce746ebafb0,
title = "Britain's Highest Bog: Can we unlock its secrets?",
abstract = "The Glenfeshie M{\`o}ine Mh{\'o}r (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 M{\`o}ine Mh{\'o}r, 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 M{\`o}ine Mh{\'o}r.",
keywords = "bare peat, Cairngorms, environmental sensor network, Internet of Things, vegetation",
author = "Olivia Bragg and {J Bashford}, Philip and Andrew Black and {M Bragg}, Graeme and {K Hart}, Jane and Kirk Martinez",
year = "2016",
month = "8",
language = "English",
booktitle = "Proceedings of the 15th International Peat Congress 2016",

}

Bragg, O, J Bashford, P, Black, A, M Bragg, G, K Hart, J & Martinez, K 2016, Britain's Highest Bog: Can we unlock its secrets? in Proceedings of the 15th International Peat Congress 2016. Kuching, Malaysia, 15th International Peat Congress 2016, Sarawak, Malaysia, 15/08/16.

Britain's Highest Bog : Can we unlock its secrets? / Bragg, Olivia; J Bashford, Philip; Black, Andrew; M Bragg, Graeme; K Hart, Jane; Martinez, Kirk.

Proceedings of the 15th International Peat Congress 2016. Kuching, Malaysia, 2016.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

TY - GEN

T1 - Britain's Highest Bog

T2 - Can we unlock its secrets?

AU - Bragg, Olivia

AU - J Bashford, Philip

AU - Black, Andrew

AU - M Bragg, Graeme

AU - K Hart, Jane

AU - Martinez, Kirk

PY - 2016/8

Y1 - 2016/8

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - bare peat

KW - Cairngorms

KW - environmental sensor network

KW - Internet of Things

KW - vegetation

UR - http://www.ipc2016.com/topics.php

UR - http://www.peatsociety.org/document/britains-highest-bog-can-we-unlock-its-secrets

M3 - Conference contribution

BT - Proceedings of the 15th International Peat Congress 2016

CY - Kuching, Malaysia

ER -

Bragg O, J Bashford P, Black A, M Bragg G, K Hart J, Martinez K. Britain's Highest Bog: Can we unlock its secrets? In Proceedings of the 15th International Peat Congress 2016. Kuching, Malaysia. 2016