Back to the basement

This is a post for those who got the experience from my blog that I am living life in paradise all the time. I have to reveal the hidden secret: there is more to my PhD than mountains and hiking.

Weighing biomass

The field season is over now, which brought me back to my beloved computer, statistics, administrative work and writing, but also to the university’s basement.

Scientific weighing

We are spending long hours underneath earth’s surface to weigh all our 2592 bags with plant material, a monstruous amount.

All nice and easy working, although some of our plants made work a little bit more difficult by growing not larger than one tiny little centimeter over those two growing seasons. Getting those teenytiny little things out of their bags and onto the scale without losing them, without them getting stuck to everything or without them hiding in unreachable corners, is kind of a struggle.

Plant biomass

So we were always happy with ‘giants’ like the one on the picture, who made it to the full 75 mg, then times as big as our average plants.

Weighing biomass

This gives a first idea of the big difference between surviving and growing in those harsh environments. As a large amount of our aliens managed to survive the two growing seasons and the fierce winter in between, that does not mean they are likely to become an invasive threat. More is needed for such an accomplishment, but that will be reported later on in my PhD…

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