Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology Lab

Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology Lab

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Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Study

Field trip to Bracken tract QUBS property near Newboro to collect the plant root plus soil samples (Jan 19th 2019):

Person kneels in the snow and grass
Adam Binhammer's freshly chiselled out core of frozen soil from the Bracken tract field experiment (air temperature -15C)
Two students smile for a picture while they work in a snowy field
Cassandra Pereira and Joanna Strozak sampling soil from one of the Bracken tract experimental plots

Lab work to extract, wash, and stain the roots for counting arbuscular mycorrhizal colonisation:

Students at work in the lab
Root washing and removal from soil; demonstration vermiculture composting bin in the foreground
Two students work together with a sample
Christine Yim and Joanna Strozak making soil sample volume measurement
Student measures a sample
Adrian Kuchtaruk estimating soil volume
Two students looking through a bucket of roots
The real fun: washing away soil residues from a beautiful fibrous grass root system
Student bent over a tin of samples
Root washing: Quality control
Tin of samples
The desired end product: Clean grass roots
Hands separating and storing samples


Students at the lab sink 
Staining the roots to highlight arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization
Students at the lab sink
Root sample rinsing
Students working at the lab counter
Fixing the stain using an alkaline solution
Students at work in the lab
Everyone's into it in this soil ecology lab!
hands holding dirt
A handful of goodness: earthworms, springtails, nematodes, bacteria and fungi etcetera all interacting in a home compost system