In the last two weeks I have travelled around the world (yes, I had to write this line) to select sites for the Three-D project in China and in Norway. We have successfully selected beautiful, species rich, and semi-natural grasslands along elevational gradients.
In each country we selected 3 sites along a productivity gradient. The gradient in Norway starts at 500m and stretches up to 1300m. In China, the lowest site is located at 3500m and the highest site at 4300m. The highest sites are low productive.
Both systems are grazed by somewhat different animals. In Norway, there are mainly sheep and goats, while in China, the dominant grazers are horses and yak.
The next step will be to select the plots and blocks and set up fences.
This week, I was in the field to train two students and find potential new field sites. The training was successfully done in decent weather, a mix of sun and clouds. But when we started to walk up the mountain, the snow came. It was snowing and hailing and raining, all in one.
We found a beautiful summer farm, where I will have one of my field sites. It even has a letter box, where hikers can write their names when walking up the mountain.
I’ll have to come back to select the sites properly, set up plots. And then I will spend a lot of time staring at the plants. Looking forward to this!
A new study from Poore & Nemecek shows the carbon footprint of our diet. BBC’s has made a tool, where you can check the carbon footprint calculator for what you eat. Not surprisingly, reducing meat and diary products reduces your environmental impact most (Poore & Nemecek, Science, 2018).
A couple of weeks ago, I went to the field for the first time in the THREE-D project. In this project, we want to disentangle the impact of different global change drivers on biodiversity and the carbon cycle. We need to select new sites and set up the whole experiment this summer in western Norway and eastern Himalaya in China.
This first round was to set up grazing exclosures. We want to get and estimate of the grazing intensity along the elevational gradients, to know how much biomass is removed over the growing season. For this, we put up metal cages, that will exclude large herbivores and this will be compared with control plots without cages. The biomass in these plots will be harvested, dried and weighed. A master student will work on this project in Norway this summer.