Sphagnum (spp.) is widely distributed in permafrost regions around the arctic and subarctic. The moisture content of the moss layer affects the thermal insulative capacity and preservation of permafrost. It also controls the growth and collapse history of palsas and other peat mounds, and is relevant, in general terms, to permafrost thaw (thermokarst). In this study, we test and calibrate seven different soil moisture sensors for measuring the moisture content of Sphagnum moss under laboratory conditions. The soil volume to which each probe is sensitive is one of the important parameters influencing moisture measurement, particularly in a heterogeneous medium such as moss. Each sensor has a unique response to changing moisture content levels, solution salinity, moss bulk density and to the orientation (structure) of the Sphagnum relative to the sensor. All of the probes examined here require unique polynomial calibration equations to obtain moisture content from probe output. We provide polynomial equations for dead and live Sphagnum moss (R2 > 0.99. Copyright ?? 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Additional publication details
Moisture content measurements of moss (Sphagnum spp.) using commercial sensors