Year 1

Methane cycling in northern forests

photo by Dave Hollinger.

a group photo showing the people (and dog) working at Howland forest on this project

photo by Jeff Dorman.

In the first year of our research on the biophysical drivers of methane in a northern forest, our team conducted an intensive field campaign.

The Howland team is (left) Dari Biswanath, Debjani Sihi (Emory), Jenny Watts (Woodwell), Shawn Fraver, (U Maine), Maria De Jesus Barragan (ASU), Dana Kahn (Emory), Valeria Briones (Woodwell), John Lee (U Maine), Kathleen Savage (Woodwell), Hinsby Cadillo-Quiroz (ASU), (kneeling) Zoë Dietrich (Woodwell), Holly Hughes (Woodwell/U Maine- retired), and Midnight (the dog).

A map shows a scattering of dots representing methane flux measurements taken at upland, transitional, and wetland locations in Howland Forest. The locations are scattered within a rough square a few hundred meters on each side, and an eddy covariance tower is marked around the midway point of the right side of the square.

map by Christina Shintani.

The team sampled 100 locations within the footprint of the Howland Research Forest eddy covariance tower. Samples were randomly selected and covered three drainage gradients: wetlands, dry uplands, and transitional soils. The team measured methane fluxes and environmental drivers at each location.

two hands holding a soil core sample, with dark rich soil at one end that progresses to a more tightly packed light grey and then orangey brown

photo by Dari Biswanath.

At a subset of 75 locations, the team collected soil samples for microbial analysis.

Circular instruments sit inside of a square marked on the forest floor by blue tape; the instruments are used to measure methane fluxes

photo by Kathleen Savage.

Automated chambers (gray) were installed in upland and transitional soils to capture frequent measurements of methane fluxes.

Two young researchers wearing mosquito netting over their faces use a yellow tape measure to measure the circumference of a tree trunk at face height.

photo by Kathleen Savage.

Trees were measured to estimate aboveground biomass.

Pictured: Zoë Dietrich (Woodwell) and Dana Kahn (Emory)