Site location and background
The Danish site is situated at Mols Bjerge, a national park in Eastern Jutland (56°23'N 10°57'W). The site is a lowland heathland co-dominated by the shrub Calluna vulgaris and the grass Deschampsia flexuosa. It is at a south eastern facing slope 57 m a.s.l. and 3 km from the sea - a shallow, protected fjord. Precipitation at the site is 550 mm (30 yr mean), annual temperature is 7.7 °C (30 yr. mean) (average January 1.7 °C, average July 17.5 °C). Both temperature and precipitation are in the low end of the climatic gradient covered by the INCREASE network. When used in combination with studies at the other INCREASE sites it will allow a full gradient approach to any study.
Mols Bjerge is a glacial sandy moraine deposited during the late phase of the Würm glaciation. Consequently the soil is a sandy podzol being relatively nutrient poor. Nitrogen deposition is in the low end of the range within the INCREASE network with c. 13 kg N/ha/yr (3 yr mean in wet deposition).
The area has been used for extensive farming since the Bronze age and up until 1950. The site was grazed by sheep and cattle during 1972-1992. Since 1992 no management has been conducted at the site apart from occasional removing of single trees. Due to the management history and the nutrient poor status the site has been dominated by heather, Calluna vulgaris, and grasses, Deschampsia flexuosa. Over the last 30 years Deschampsia flexuosa have gained increasing dominance, most likely as a consequence of the low level of management and the increasing atmospheric input of nutrients.
Climate change manipulations
The Mols infrastructure consists of 9 plots each 20 m2 including 3 plots with a temperature rise, 3 plots where drought is created and 3 untreated control plots:
· Temperature: Night-time warming mimics global change. Passive night time warming takes place during the night by covering the ecosystem at night by IR-reflective alu-curtains controlled by a light sensor.
Summer drought: Extended summer drought is applied 1-2 months during early summer. Plastic curtains cover the plots during rain events. A rain sensor controls the curtains.
Control: Untreated plots for reference measurements.
Research activities and research ideas
Mols is instrumented with automated TDR-systems, rain collectors, lysimeters for soil water collection in two depths, litter collectors, data-loggers etc. Climate data and a number of plant and soil processes have been collected routinely since 1998 although with gaps for some of the parameters including soil water quality, soil respiration, soil N transformation, litter decomposition, plant phenology and vegetation composition changes. This provides a unique record of back-ground data.
During the lifespan of the INCREASE project, we will continue to carry out research at the site under additional funding sources. The research will focus on effects of climate change on ecosystem processes and functioning, e.g. effect studies on plant phenology, plant community changes, net ecosystem exchange of CO2, root growth and turn-over, hydrology and ground water contamination.
Other facilities offered
The experimental site of Mols offers opportunities for housing, simple lab facilities and all basic logistics, installations and site characterising datalogging (e.g. climate).
The on-site team
The on-site team for Mols includes Senior scientist Inger Kappel Schmidt, Senior scientist Karin Hansen, technician Preben Frederiksen and PhD students Jane Kongstad Pedersen and Marie Frost Arndal all from the University of Copenhagen.
For more information
Please, contact Inger Kappel Schmidt - email University of Copenhagen, Forest and Landscape Denmark, Hørsholm Kongevej 11, 2970 Hørsholm, DK.