Aber forest is located 10 km from the north Wales coast (5312'N, 400'W) UK and is the site of a series of integrated large scale ecosystem manipulation experiments with nitrogen deposition carried out as part of the European NITREX project. Aber is situated in mountainous terrain with 30 year old sitka spruce plantations covering 140 hectares. This site has high annual rainfall. The regional geology is Ordovician mudstone and shales with extensive glacial
deposits. The soils are generally poorly developed ferric stagnopodzols with well distinguished organic and mineral horizons. To improve drainage and form the characteristic furrow and ridge topography the soil was ploughed at a 30 angle to the slope prior to planting; At Aber the interactive effects of forest plantations on former moorlands and acid deposition, in particular nitrogen deposition are studied. Aber is the locality at which MERLIN (Model of Retention and Loss of Inorganic Nitrogen), was developed. At Aber, the models MAGIC and
MERLIN will be applied to predict the effects of scenarios of land use (in particular forest management) and acid deposition on the fluxes of water and pollutants from the ecosystems.