2018 Field Season
This past Foliar 4D field season has been very successful!
This year I traveled to Talladega National Forest in Alabama, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, Mountain Lake Biological Station in Virginia, and Harvard Forest in Massachusetts. Our team collected over 500 foliar samples from the dominate species at each site and at different heights within the canopy. These data will be used to develop ecological models to better predict within canopy nutrient concentrations and ultimately forest productivity.
All packed up and ready to go!
Its a lot of work to collect leaves from the top of the canopy, we’ve been using a air powered line launcher, a big shot slingshot, and a large pruning pole.
Leaf morphology is crazy! Two leaves from the same tree, about 20 meters (vertically) apart in the canopy.
In order to take a spectal measurement of hemlocks or pines, first you have to make tiny needle mats.
We’ve been using a SVC Field Spectroradiometer to collect spectra from 400 to 2500 nm.
After we collect and dry the samples, there is still a lot of work left to get nitrogren and carbon concentrations from the leaves. You have to grind the samples to fine powder and then scoop very precise amounts of the leaf dust into tiny alumnimum foil caps. We then use a C/N chemical analysis machine to get our measurements.
At the end of the day, I feel very lucky to be able to spend so much time outside in these beautiful places!