Terrain-AI researchers were out on-site this week in Co. Laois to install a new eddy covariance system at one of the new forest research sites.

Members of the forestry team Brian Tobin (UCD), Matt Saunders (TCD), Ken Byrne (UL) and Caren Jarmain (UL) were present to install the sensor equipment.

The benchmark site at Ballykilcavan has a large flux tower standing at over 40 metres tall to carry the monitoring equipment above the mature forest canopy.

The equipment will make continuous measurements of CO2 fluxes from this broadleaf-dominated forest ecosystem. This forest site includes many stands of mixed species and of varying age structure. While part of the area is managed as native woodland and is a haven for biodiversity, there are also stands managed for the commercial production of timber. CO2 measurements will show the balance of all the fluxes linked to this forest surface – when it is a carbon source and when it is a carbon sink. The long-term assessment of carbon fluxes is essential for our understanding of carbon balances. The data collected will allow the research team to investigate the real time growth rate of the forest in direct response to climate. The team will also investigate the impacts of management on the forest’s GHG fluxes.

The site in Laois is one of more than 20 benchmark sites across Ireland that collect various climate data which are relayed back to our data platform for analysis.

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