Large scale manipulation of the interactions between key ecosystem processes at multiple scales: why and how the FALCON array of artificial catchments was built
Keywords:carbon storage, downscaling, energy budget, runoff, soil development, upscaling, water budget
Understanding how natural processes arise from complex interactions between particular processes at small spatiotemporal scales and in turn how these processes form patterns at large spatiotemporal scales is one of the current principal questions in environmental science.
The problem is very complicated, as in many cases, key processes are often studied by researchers in separate disciplines such as ecology, soil science or hydrology. One of the major obstacles is that the processes at a landscape scale are difficult to manipulate and, in many cases, even measure. In particular, the belowground processes are in many cases overlooked or at least understudied. Here we briefly describe a methodological solution used to cope with this problem and describe artificial catchments designed for experimental manipulation at the level of a landscape, called FALCON. This array has two treatments: one mimics a site reclaimed using an alder plantation and the other was left to unassisted primary succession. For each treatment, there were two replicates in four similar catchments. Individual catchments
are hydrologically isolated from the environment and equipped with instruments, so that all the main processes and all significant flows of substances and energy in the ecosystem can be monitored, including the cycling of water, nutrients and gas between the ecosystem and the atmosphere. In addition, in each catchment there are sets of lysimeters, which allow the study of small-scale processes and how these can be extrapolated to the catchment scale. In addition, two lysimetric fields exist alongside the catchments for monitoring the effects of the experimental manipulation.
Copyright (c) 2020 Jan Frouz, Martin Bartuška, Jan Hošek, Jiří Kučera, Jiří Leitgeb, Zbyněk Novák, Martin Šanda, Tomáš Vitvar
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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