Thursday, 6 September 2012

Azores Day 5

Back in the field today for the last time (lab day tomorrow) at two sites in the centre of the island, Lagoa do Fogo and Caldeira Velha. As usual, the weather was not great at Lagoa do Fogo....

The bus overheated on the steep climb

Lagoa do Fogo

Working on the hillside

Today was all about looking at whether there are any differences between the endemic and invasive plants that give the invasives some sort of advantage. Field measurements included chlorophyll fluorescence using a PEA (photosynthetic efficiency analysis) meter, leaf thickness and we also took  leaf impressions (using a dental product) to look at stomatal density in the lab tomorrow.

Working on the steep crater rim
above the lake
Taking "dental" impressions of the undersides
of the leaves of one of the endemic
trees, Laurus azorica.

Noting leaf dimensions.
Hedychium gardneranium - an invasive plant

A masterclass in keeping your notebook dry.

Innovative use of PEA meter clips.

Leaf impressions

 Further down the volcano, at Caldeira Velha, a different selection of plants provided further data while the "thermal" pool allowed a surprisingly cold swim!

Caldeira Velha
Some flexed their muscles...

...others felt compelled to bring
inflatable elephants.

Some even felt compelled to dance......

Every day we are seeing what seem like familiar species but most of them are endemic species or subspecies and look a little different:

"Atlantis" (Azorean) Herring Gull
Sao Miguel Grayling (Hipparchia miguelensis)

On the way back to the university for food, several of the staff made a detour to the coast for a fruitless search for an endemic water beetle in the pools in the splash zone. Maybe next year...

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