Talk: Dark Materials – the Science and Beauty of Peatlands.

Dark Materials – the Science and Beauty of Peatlands. A talk by Professor Simon Caporn on Thursday 26th January at 18:00 in T0.03, John Dalton building. (Refreshments available from 17:30).

Simon Caporn.pngDark, peaty soils cover an increasing proportion of Britain as you head north and west to the wetter regions. The beautiful purple-headed mountains are a type of peatland almost unique to this country and give our hills much splendour and substantial benefits known now as ecosystem services.

In many poorly drained upland and lowland peatlands, the peat layer has formed over thousands of years and is many metres deep, rich in organic matter and makes peatlands our largest land-based carbon reservoir.

In this talk, Prof Simon Caporn will address the threats to these ecosystems and consider how we might conserve the beauty of peatlands and preserve their carbon stores at a stage in the life of the planet when humans are increasingly taking control over and disrupting the Earth’s ecosystems.

Simon Caporn has a BSc in Biology (York) and PhD in Plant Physiology (Sussex) and is now a Professor in Ecology and Environment at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Since 1989 the focus of his research and teaching has been on the ecology of bogs and heathland plant communities, with particular interests in the impacts of air pollution, climate change and the restoration of damaged peatland habitats. He has run a nitrogen manipulation experiment on heather moorland in Wales for over 25 years. This was part of a DEFRA research programme into acidification and eutrophication of terrestrial ecosystems; within this programme Simon led research on bio indicators of nitrogen eutrophication in varied UK habitats.

Simon leads a NERC-funded climate change manipulation experiment on a raised bog in Wales, which examines the affect of warming, drought and salt water on the plant ecology and carbon and nutrient cycling. In recent years, Simon has performed research on restoration of degraded upland and lowland bogs with a focus on the recovery and restoration of Sphagnum moss.

Refreshments will be available from 17:30 in the John Dalton building, with the talk beginning in Lecture Theatre T0.03 at 18:00. This will last around one hour and will include time for audience questions. The event will finish with a drinks reception and further discussion.

Attendance to this event is free of charge, however we do ask that you book tickets in advance at