Thursday, 11 April 2013

Burying pipes and digging them up again

Welcome to Dr Hongling Qin from the Chinese Academy of Science, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture who has joined us for a year to work on earthworms and greenhouse gas emissions. Hongling has wasted no time getting an experiment set up. We have buried 60 drainpipes to obtain intact soil cores and are now digging them out. We'll then get rid of the macrofauna in the columns, return the columns to the soil and add different earthworm species. The plan is to monitor greenhouse gas emissions from columns with and without vegetation and with and without earthworms to see how much green house gas earthworms give off from the soil. The literature is equivocal about earthworms role in greenhouse gas emissions and we hope our work will address this gap.

Sylvia Toet and James Stockdale providing much appreciated assistance hammering the pipes into the ground.

Hongling demonstrates the "comedy" hammer

What do you do after burying pipes? Dig them out of course! Next we have to remove any resident beasties.