Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Ecohydrology of Scottish peatlands

  • H. A. P. Ingram (a1)

Abstract

Mires are terrestrial ecosystems which conserve organic production in the form of peat because their soils are waterlogged. Scotland's damp climate makes it rich in mires, with fens, raised mires and blanket mires occurring widely. Intact examples are mostly treeless due to wind exposure. They have two functional layers of soil: a shallow acrotelm overlying the catotelm or peat deposit proper. The acrotelm is the main region of diagenesis and contains the water table, which lies close to the surface for most of the time. Evapotranspiration depends on water table depth and surface vegetation. In the catotelm, water transmission is described by Darcy's law with sufficient exactness to allow prediction of the water table profile. An analysis of seepage using Dupuit–Forchheimer theory predicts a hemi-elliptical profile whose curvature is governed by the water balance in dry years and which, in its turn, closely controls the overall shape of the mire. Water flow is more rapid in the acrotelm, where it creates a regular series of different soil physical regimes which are linked with distinct combinations of surface topography and vegetation arranged sequentially from the centre of a mire to its edge. Such regular arrangements are most clearly seen in the Flowe Country of E Sutherland and Caithness. Acrotelm structure also permits variation in flow rate with depth, so that the amplitude of water table oscillations is narrowly confined and the mire thus protected against both desiccation and sheet flow.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Anon. 1986. Nature Conservation and Afforestation in Britain. Peterborough: Nature Conservancy Council.
Birse, E. & Robertson, L. 1970. Assessment of Climatic Conditions in Scotland 2: Based on Exposure and Accumulated Frost. Aberdeen: Macaulay Institute.
Bragg, O. M. 1982. The Acrotelm of Dun Moss: Plants, Water and their relationships. Ph.D. Thesis., University of Dundee.
Bragg, O. M. & Ingram, H. A. P. 1984. Ecological Observations on some Mires in Caithness, 1983. Dundee: University of Dundee, Unpublished Report to the Nature Conservancy Council.
Childs, E. C. 1969. An Introduction to the Physical Basis of Soil Water Phenomena. London: Wiley.
Clymo, R. S. 1983. Peat. In Gore, A. J. P. (ed.) Mires: Swamp, Bog, Fen and Moor, General Studies, 159224. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Coupar, A. M. 1983. Studies on Vegetation and Blanket Mire Hydrology at Rannoch Moor. Ph.D. Thesis., University of Dundee.
Dry, F. T. & Robertson, J. S. 1982. Soil and Land Capability for Agriculture: Orkney and Shetland. Aberdeen: Macaulay Institute.
Fitzpatrick, E. A. 1964. The Soils of Scotland. In Burnett, J. H. (ed.) The Vegetation of Scotland, 3663. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd.
Futty, D. W. & Towers, W. 1982. Soil and Land Capability for Agriculture: Northern Scotland. Aberdeen: Macaulay Institute.
Hudson, G., Towers, W., Bibby, J. S. & Henderson, D. J. 1982. Soil and Land Capability for Agriculture: The Outer Hebrides. Aberdeen: Macaulay Institute.
Huggett, R. J. 1985. Earth Surface Systems. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Ingram, H. A. P. 1978. Soil layers in mires: function and terminology. J SOIL SCI 29, 224–27.
Ingram, H. A. P. 1982. Size and shape in raised mire ecosystems: a geophysical model. NATURE, LOND 297, 300–03.
Ingram, H. A. P. 1983. Hydrology. In Gore, A. J. P. (ed.) Mires: Swamp, Bog, Fen and Moor, General Studies, 67158. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Ingram, H. A. P. & Bragg, O. M. 1984. The diplotelmic mire: some hydrological consequences reviewed. PROC 7TH INT PEAT CONGR, DUBLIN 1, 220–34.
Ivanov, K. E. 1953. Gidrologiya bolot. Leningrad: Gidrometeoizdat.
Ivanov, K. E. 1957. Osnovy gidrologii bolot lesnoĭ zony i raschety vodnogo rezhima bolotnykh massivov. Leningrad: Gidrometeoizdat.
Ivanov, K. E. 1981. Water Movement in Mirelands. Thomson, A. & Ingram, H. A. P. (transl.). London: Academic Press.
Lähde, E. 1972. Seasonal variation in the depth of the aerobic limit and the ground water table in virgin and in drained myrtillus spruce swamp. PROC 4TH INT PEAT CONGR, OTANIEMI, 355–69.
Linacre, E. 1976. Swamps. In Monteith, J. L. (ed.) Vegetation and the Atmosphere 2, 329–47. London: Academic Press.
Lopatin, V. D. 1949. O gidrologicheskom znachenii verkhovykh bolot. VEST LENINGRAD GOS UNIV 2, 3749.
Malmer, N. & Holm, E. 1984. Variation in the C/N quotient of peat in relation to decomposition rate and age determination with 210Pb. OIKOS 43, 171–82.
Marino, M. A. 1974. Growth and decay of groundwater mounds induced by percolation. J HYDROL, AMST 22, 295301.
Nilsson, M. & Berg, B. 1986. Microbiology. In Basic Studies of Waterbinding in Peat, 4754. Umeå: Institute of Surface Chemistry, University of Umeå.
Penman, H. L. 1948. Natural evaporation from open water, bare soil and grass. PROC R SOC LONDON A193, 120–45.
Penman, H. L. 1963. Vegetation and Hydrology. Farnham Royal: Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux.
Raats, P. A. C. 1967. Non-Darcy flow in soils. PROC INT SOIL WATER SYMP, PRAGUE 1, 18.
Swartzendruber, D. 1962. Non-Darcy flow behavior in liquidsaturated porous media. J GEOPHYS RES 67, 5205–13.
Taylor, J. A. 1983. The peatlands of Great Britain and Ireland. In Gore, A. J. P., (ed.) Mires: Swamp. Bog, Fen and Moor, Regional Studies, 146. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Waine, J., Brown, J. M. B. & Ingram, H. A. P. 1985. Non-Darcyan transmission of water in certain humified peats. J HYDROL, AMST 82, 327–39.

Keywords

Ecohydrology of Scottish peatlands

  • H. A. P. Ingram (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed