Making headway.  Plants are divded by live and dead wood.  New and old wood are also identified and sorted.  Most of the plant matter here is either a willow species or alder.
Making headway

Today was lovingly referred to as a "plucking" day. In the previous journal entry I described how we hiked to a research site and removed a square meter of brush and tundra turf. Today we began to process the material which requires many people because there is so much plant matter to identify and sort. You can see a part of this procedure in the video below.

The group begins to harvest the shrubs and upper story.
The group begins to harvest the shrubs and upper story.

Some members of the group take a plank challenge break.
Plank challenge! Some members of the group take a plank challenge break.

Tundra Cake
Cake in the tundra??? An profile and surface example of understory and organic matter. Each tundra cake is a twenty centimeter square. The depth varies depending on the location of the mineral soil.

After the upperstory of the plot has been sorted the group begins to work on the understory and organic matter, casually referred to as "tundra cake". Roots, leaf litter, moss, and any other plant matter must be identified and sorted.

Tomorrow part of the group will remain and continue to process the samples while myself and a few others will return to the field and harvest another site. It's beginning to turn to fall, and the weather is becoming cold with lots of rain and wind so I'll have to make sure to bundle up!

Toolik in the fall
The rain rolls across the Toolik Field Station in the afternoon.

Dr. Bret-Harte's Lab.  The labs in the field station are located in trailers.
Dr. Bret-Harte's Lab. The labs in the field station are located in trailers.

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