ExpeER (Experimentation in Ecosystem Research)

Short description:

ExpeER is an European project (2010-2014) which aims to bring together, for the first time, the major observational, experimental, analytical and modelling facilities in ecosystem science in Europe. By uniting these highly instrumented ecosystem research facilities under the same umbrella and with a common vision, ExpeER intends to form a key contribution for structuring the very fragmented research community on terrestrial ecosystems within the European Research Area and improving the quality and the performance of these infrastructure components in a durable and sustainable manner.

Major research issues/sites:

UKCEH sites in the ExpeER network (external links):

  • Moor House (observational site): Habitats include exposed summits, extensive blanket peatlands and upland grassland, underlain by Carboniferous geology, with alternating strata of limestone, sandstone and shale. Blanket bog occurs in places 2-3 m deep. Twenty years of data encompass meteorology, atmospheric deposition chemistry, soil chemistry, runoff chemistry and stream discharge, and a range of vegetation and invertebrate groups.
  • Whim (experimental site): Whim bog, offers a globally unique comparison of how the main N forms affect semi-natural vegetation, with meteorological data and treatment history since 2002. A quantified ammonia concentration / deposition gradient, is provided, plus a wet deposition system, comparing oxidized (NaNO3) and reduced nitrogen (NH4Cl), where treatments are meteorology dependent, i.e. wind direction and rainfall frequency define the treatment exposure (~120 events y-1). Wet plots are large (13m2) and replicated (4). Opportunities exist to evaluate a whole range of ecosystem services from conservation to carbon sequestration, GHG emissions and water chemistry in addition to understanding how changes in vegetation affect the delivery of these services.
  • Plynlimon / Upper Severn (Observation site): The infrastructure at Plynlimon consists of 10 instrumented research catchments representing different land use options on the same geological parent material. The infrastructure records high temporal resolution river flow and meteorological data (40 year data record) and weekly stream water and precipitation chemistry for cations, anions, trace metals, nutrients, pH and alkalinity (30 year data record).

Options and conditions for visiting scientists:

A “continuously-open” mechanism will be applied to gather/select proposals but, as a general rule, applicant(s) should submit their proposal between two and six months before they wish to begin their visit.

1st Stage Application (eligibility phase) :

Applicants are requested to firstly submit a short proposal (pre-application form) via the ExpeER website, which will automatically be sent to the TA Coordination Team, as well as to the Site Manager of the relevant research facility. At this stage the eligibility of the proposed access (in line with above referenced eligibility criteria) and the feasibility of the proposed work (in consultation with the ExpeER facility/site) will be evaluated. Candidates will be informed within 2 – 4 weeks of the outcome of the eligibility phase. If the outcome is positive, candidates will be asked to get in touch with the Site Manager of the ExpeER facility/site concerned before completing the full application form.

2nd Stage Application (full proposal):

Prior to submitting their application, applicants are advised to contact the Site Manager for which access is being requested to clarify the practical arrangements. Further clarifications of the proposed access can be provided via the downloadable TA forms (return address in the form).

centre running the infrastructure:

UKCEH - UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

type of facility:

Observatory / large-scale experimental field site , Research platforms


  • UKCEH - UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • Phone: +44 (0) 1491 692395
  • Email: jhgr@ceh.ac.uk