One crisp winter morning, five intrepid adventurers set out on a mission…
The goal? To position Pepperwood’s newest Sentinel Site features: two eddy covariance flux towers standing at 71ft and weighing in at 200lbs each. Led into the wilderness by Ryan Ferrell, Research Tech Extraordinaire, the team bushwhacked and marched across steep terrain, lugging each tower to sites carefully selected based on dominant wind patterns and forest composition. These criteria ensure spatially targeted measurements of the flux or exchange of CO2 and water vapor between our forests and the atmosphere.
Why does this matter?
For our current project the focus will be on the water vapor (H2O(g)) flux, which helps us to calculate the amount of water being utilized by our forests. The key measurements from these towers will allow us to calculate forest water-use (evapotranspiration) and will ultimately allow us to quantify the impacts of our forest management on the water balance (overall inputs and outputs of water in our ecosystems). Even more importantly, the data can and will directly impact our management decisions with regards forest thinning and burning prescriptions.