Tales from the NIBIO Svanhovd station in Norway (Part 3)

Soil sampling – when bacteria act sensitive

One windy afternoon, I joined a NIBIO Svanhovd researcher to go to the fjell (the Norwegian term for mountain). We drove as far as possible and could experience a Norwegian cart track but of course we needed to leave the car behind and headed towards the hill (or is it worth to be called mountain?) through thousands of ripe blue berries. The goal was to get three soil samples from the top, which are used for the INTERACT-TSENS (Temperature sensitivity of soil bacterial communities in the Arctic) remote access project (project submitted by Ruud Rijkers, PhD candidate and Dr. James Weedon, Assistant Professor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam). This project wants to compare the temperature sensitivity of soil bacterial communities. While on the top, some of the lighter work materials needed to be fastened because of the wind, three soil cores were sampled from the upper soil layer. It wasn’t as easy as expected because the soil layer is not very thick, and it also happened that the soil core sampler hit stone in the ground. For the successful soil core samples, the vegetation was then removed from the cores and the soil samples were bagged and stored in a cooling box. The samples need to be cooled and are provided with a temperature logger. If the goal of the project is to document the temperature response, it would be a pity if the response occurs while no one is watching it!

Figure 3: The landscape in the Pasvik valley is mostly shaped by big forests and many hills that you often need to climb. Photo: Helena Klöckener.

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