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  • The Rollesbroich site is located in the low mountain range “Eifel” near the German-Belgium border and covers the area of the small Kieselbach catchment (40 ha) with altitudes ranging from 474 to 518 m.a.s.l.. The climate is temperate maritime with a mean annual air temperature and precipitation of 7.7 °C and 1033 mm, respectively, for the period from 1981 to 2001. Soils are dominated by (stagnic) Cambisols and Stagnosols on Devonian shales with occasional sandstone inclusions that are covered by a periglacial solifluction clay–silt layer. The mountainous grassland vegetation is dominated by perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and smooth meadow grass (Poa pratensis). The study site is highly instrumented. All components of the water balance (e.g. precipitation, evapotranspiration, runoff, soil water content) are continuously monitored using state-of-the-art instrumentation, including weighable lysimeters, runoff gauges, cosmic-ray soil moisture sensors, a wireless sensor network that monitors soil temperature, and soil moisture at 189 locations in different depths (5, 20 and 50 cm) throughout the study site. Periodically also different chamber measurements were made to access soil or plant gas exchange.