Input and output of minerals for an area of Pennine moorland: The importance of precipitation, drainage, peat erosion and animals.

Published online
28 Aug 1967
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Crisp, D. T.

Publication language


An outline balance sheet for water, Na, K, Ca, P and N was constructed for a stream catchment of 83 ha. The catchment surface comprised 11-20% eroding peat, 80-85 % blanket-bog vegetation and a little grassland. Inputs in precipitation and outputs in stream water, eroding peat, downstream drift of invertebrates and sale of sheep and wool were estimated. About 80 % of the input water left the catchment via the stream. Only peat erosion and solution in stream water were routes of significant output of the five elements; for each element, output exceeded input but there may have been additional input of metals from mineral deposits. Outputs of P, 33 kg/year, and N, 244 kg, in stream water were far below inputs but losses from eroding peat were 37 kg P and 1214 kg N and brought the totals to above input values. Estimated net losses of P and N in all forms were 0.17-0.40 kg and 9.48 kg respectively.

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