6/24/22: Project waterlog underway
It was a hot one this week, but that didn’t slow us down. The current heat wave, paired with an absence of rain, will surely show some interesting fluctuations in our forestry plot data. How will this extended weather event impact root growth, sap flow, tree growth, and more? Only time, and future updates of this blog, will tell! In the meantime, take a look at what we got up to in the root lab:
Began tracing and observing root growth in our waterlogging trial trees
We used a green paint pen for our first tracing. Remember this! In coming weeks you will see new colors for each tracing session. Green roots will be the oldest age class. They are very wise and enjoy the occasional early bird special.
This week I've been playing with old data from the 2019 waterlogging experiment. Here you can see photosynthesis rates on three different dates (before, during, and after waterlogging). I’m going to plot similar graphs with our NEW data in the upcoming months, so it’s important to figure out the best way to visualize the patterns we expect to see.
Above are the root samples that I weighed and tinned. Samples have to be ground down to a fine powder before they can go the machine that analyses carbon and nitrogen content in the root.
These are the tiny metal tablets you are left with after tinning. “Tinning” is the process of placing a small amount of a sample, in this case 3-5 mg, into a tiny tin boat, and folding it up like a burrito. It is an oddly satisfying task!
Marvin, long time employee and keeper of all the arboretum’s secrets (he won’t tell you where the morel mushrooms are, that’s classified root lab information) is seen here celebrating his dendrometer installation skills.