Winter has sort of ended and tulips are flowering. The beginning of the year has been exceptionally variable. In February we even had freezing temperatures and chance to skate in the frozen channels! In between, record temperatures were measured. Now in April one never knows if there is snow in the morning, hail in the afternoon or t-shirt weather.
Yesterday I digged out the teabags that have been buried in the ground (under the snow as well!) for 3 months to measure decomposition rates in a standardised way (more about Teabag index). Will the legacy of the drought or the difference in fungal biomass affect the decomposition rate? I also took out the TOMST sensors for a moment to confirm that the drought of last year really happened (yes, it did!). I will place them back tomorrow though. As a 'bonus' coming with moisture data is the temperature data from 10cm under the soil measured every 15min since June. That is a lot of data! It is interesting to see that in this set up the soils can get very warm (35C) but also very cold (-3C). And that there is variability in it. As we have taken microbial samples as well, maybe we can link these data later and at least use it as background for one of my students currently working on temperature/drought effects on fungal cultures.
Exciting times! Soon I will post more about the plans for this summer. A lot of planning has happened behind the scenes and almost everything is ready for me to follow carbon flow through the system. More on this later!
Have a lovely day,