In the second half of February, right after the unusual snowfall event, we were conducting fieldwork in an Japanese satoyama woodland near Tokyo. There is an active collaboration with Asst. Prof. Toru Terada from Tokyo University, Department of Natural Environmental Studies, Graduate School of Frontier Science and Dr. Viktor Bruckman, Austrian Academy of Sciences. The actual study site is in close proximity to the Kashiwa campus of Tokyo University.
Prof Terada previously studied the biomass potential of Satoyama woodlands and therefore investigated aboveground carbon pools. Such coppice-based woodlands once played an important role as source for fuelwood, but its significance soon ceased after the utilization of fossil fuels. As a consequence of climate change debates and the need for sustainable and renewable sources for energy, there is increased interest in the biomass production potential of such systems again, a trend which can be observed worldwide. Dr. Bruckman is a specialist for belowground carbon dynamics which were not included in the earlier study, as well as plant nutrition. Since soil fertility is a major factor in stand productivity and the soil carbon dynamics determine the carbon sequestration potential, Prof. Terada and Dr. Bruckman soon realized that joint efforts and access to their respective expertise may lead to great synergies in attempting to understand both the biomass production potential as well as the carbon sequestration in the soil under different vegetation types.
Find below a few photos of our fieldwork from February, 2014.
PRS (Plant Root Simulator) probes were installed to monitor plant available nutrients, as well as potential contaminants (anions and cations). Dr. Bruckman has experience with this method provided by Western AG Innovations (read more here).
In order to enhance the interpretation of the results from PRS installation (which is highly temperature and moisture dependent) we installed a data logger to simultaneously monitor soil moisture and temperature. Moisture is measured here usinf volumetric water content sensors, rather than measuring conductivity only. Read more about the used sensors here.
Currently, we are analyzing data and preparing the manuscript. The aim of the final paper is not only a presentation of the current data from the Japanese satoyama system, we would rather like to compare cases from Japan and similar woodland management systems in Austria. By comparing these systems, we would like to suggest best management practices in view of carbon management as well as other environmental services of both, tangible and intangible nature.
We will publish the results of the study here as soon as available.