The moss chamber:
We are measuring carbon fluxes in the field. The problem is: we do not know the contribution of various plants (and microbes) to those fluxes. To learn more about the individual plants, we will be taking measurements in my lab.
We have a very nifty device, the LI-6800, that can vary light levels. We can set the light levels from high to low light and see how plants are reducing photosynthetic rates as the light gets dimmer. One of the reasons that our device is so nifty is that we can program in the different light levels, then press start. The relationship between light and net photosynthesis is then graphed out, and we extract some very useful information.
The plants are so small in Antarctica, that we can fit them inside the moss chamber (so, the Antarctic grass will fit in there!). We will start collecting a few moss species tomorrow. There are plenty in the direct vicinity of Palmer Station.