Experiments and field campaigns 2019 vol. 1

This season was very busy with several experiments and field campaigns. Our group has been measuring greenhouse gases in the middle of the night, climbing trees and gluing lunch boxes in the trees to solve the methane mystery. Here’s what we were doing this spring:

Spring Campaign 2019

Our Spring Campaign setup at the greenhouse yard.

We organized a measurement campaign at the Viikki greenhouse yard by measuring the seedlings that had been planted there a couple of years back. The campaign was one big learning process for the most of us: I still remember the excitement combined with nervousness when I carried the greenhouse gas analyzer to the yard for the first time.

Studying trace gases turned out to be rather challenging in the beginning, since one reckless breath could ruin the whole measurement! Nevertheless, our team and the newcomers learned everything incredibly fast obtaining great results.

So, we had a bunch of Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris) and Norways spruces (Picea abies) with manual shoot chambers attached to their apical shoots. Our beloved UGGA (= Ultra-portable greenhouse gas analyzer) performed well providing us with CH4, CO2 and H2O flux measurements during the spring from April until the beginning of May.

At first we were happy with measuring the seedlings only 2-3 times per day twice week, but the promising results ignited the idea of going all in… So we decided to also have not only one but two 24-h measurement campaigns! This, of course, required truly dedicated measurers, since the first shift started already at 2 AM.

Performing experiments at the greenhouse yard was a very convenient way to learn how to do manual shoot measurements. In this way it was also possible to study the trees and fluxes in more controlled yet rather natural conditions. In addition, it was quite lovely to spend those warm and sunny spring days working outside! Overall, we made some fascinating findings and gained useful experience for the upcoming field campaigns in Lapland…!