Climate monitoring research infrastructure (KLIVEG) | Lifewatch regional portal

You are here

Climate monitoring research infrastructure (KLIVEG)

General

Within the KLIVEG project, meteorological and hydrological sensors are deployed to collect long term measurement series of climate parameters. These parameters can provide insight in changing plant phenology and the functioning of plant communities in a changing climate. The consequences of climate change are currently high on the (inter)national political and scientific agenda. In this regard, it is vital to understand how climate change affects plant phenology and the functioning of plant communities, and how this relates with carbon fixation pathways.

Currently, the Research Insitute for Nature and Forest (INBO) is already involved in such research projects on forest vegetation. With KLIVEG however, the aim is to extend the existing network in forests to open vegetation types and to set up an automated data collection and processing chain.

Infrastructure

 
4 LTER sites (Long-Term Ecosystem Research network, http://www.lter-belgium.be) were selected for setting up the sensors.
 
Each of the selected sites contains mainly open habitats and the plots were put in vulnerable Natura 2000 vegetation to link the climate with the performance of these internationally protected vegetation types.
 
The following LTER-sites were selected: (1) Westhoek coastal dunes, (2) Doode Bemde, (3) Valley of the Zwarte beek and (4) National Park Hoge Kempen. During the course of 2017 and 2018, field stations were installed at the selected study sites. In 2019, the installation of a fifth field station is planned.
Map with the locations of the KLIVEG field stations. Basemap provided by OpenStreetMaps.

The field set-up consists of three plots per study site. A fully equipped measurement site involves:

  • the installation of ground water sensors (3 per site, 1 in each plot)
  • the installation of data loggers and solar panels (3 per site, 1 in each plot)
  • the installation of a weather station (1 per site)
  • digging a well and the description of the soil profile (3 per site, 1 in each plot)
  • installation of soil moisture sensors at 4 different depths in the well (3 per site, 1 in each plot)

Additionally, soil samples were taken in order to calibrate the soil moisture sensors in the lab.

Pictures of the technical set-up in the KLIVEG project. Top left: lab calibration of the soil moisture sensors (©INBO) - Top right: installation of 4 soil moisture sensors in a well in the National Park Hoge Kempen (©INBO) - Bottom left: close-up on a soil moisture sensor (©INBO) - Bottom right: view on a closed well with a solar powered data logger (left) and a groundwater monitoring well (right) at the Doode Bemde (©INBO).

Data flow

In order to send the collected data automatically to the INBO's Amazon S3 storage cloud, each data logger is connected with a GPRS modem. The modems are able to accomplish two-way communication which enables the possibility to change the measuring protocol of the sensors remotely.