As a lead on the Belgian Science Policy Office funded “Congo basin eco-climatological data recovery and valorisation (COBECORE, contract BR/175/A3/COBECORE)” project I aim to bring together an interdisciplinary network of partners with the objective to establish baseline measurements necessary in long-term (retrospective) ecological and climatological research by valorising unexplored historical data.
The Jungle Rhythms project aims to transcribe hand-drawn observations of the life cycle events of more than 2,000 trees (of more than 500 different species!) between 1937 and 1958 in the tropical rainforest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Long-term observations of tropical trees are rare. The Jungle Rhythms observations comprise three decades of data on the central African tropical forest, and are therefore an extraordinary source of information on the life cycles of tropical trees.
Wood cellulose extraction
A previous position as post-doc within the Congo Basin Integrated Monitoring for FOrest carbon mitigation and biodiversity (COBIMFO) project provided me with privileged access to both wood cores and stem discs collected in humid tropical forest in central DR Congo and stable isotope analyzers. However, a crucial step in the stable isotope analysis involved getting a cellulose extraction setup running. Here I provide a short rational to why you would want to use ‘just’ cellulose instead of bulk wood and describe how to create a cellulose extraction line on a limited budget. For schematics and cost estimates as well as the associated protocol jump straight to the final paragraph.
Given the lack of a cheap alternative to ‘real’ PhenoCams I decided to cobble together a citizen science PhenoCam. Given that it’s based upon a raspberry pi I baptized it PhenoPi. This project is currently being revived with the help of the Arribada initiative, leveraging previous work by Alasdair Davies within the context of biodiversity monitoring.