I received some pictures from the snowy colds of the Norwegian mountains this week, where The3DLab-member Ronja went on a cross-country ski tour to her seed addition experiment to measure snow depth.
Snow is a crucial component of microclimate as it serves as a blanket: a thick snow pack can keep soil- and near-surface temperatures close to 0°C all winter.
In Ronja’s experiment, we are especially interested in local variation in these snow covers, as we are comparing exposed with sheltered locations. In the exposed location, wind prevents the accumulation of a thick snow pack, with potentially much more intense freezing around our seedlings, yet also an earlier onset of spring. In the sheltered locations, snow can accumulate, providing this important blanket against heavy freezing, yet also delaying the start of spring for the plants underneath the blanket.
Often these winter measurements of the snow depth are lacking – few are brave enough for winter fieldwork. But Ronja fears no cold (and has equally brave friends to provide fun fieldwork company) and got us the precious data we need.
Very much looking forward to see how the seedlings look when snow is gone!