Laboratory and field instrumentation for our experimental research includes laser spectroscopy such as Aerodyne N2O isotope, Picarro benchtop (CO2, CH4, N2O, NH3, H2O), Picarro scouter (CH4, CO2, H2O); Eosense automated chambers & multiplexer; CombiPAL-Varian GC (CO2, CH4, N2O); NextEngine laser scanners; HyProp tensiometry systems; LICOR-Campbell eddy-covariance sensors, soil sensors and dataloggers for moisture, temperature, oxygen concentration in gaseous phase, ambient pressure, normalized differential vegetation index and stomata conductance; Sartorius MA160 moisture analyser; various scales; vials vacuum station; and drying ovens. This science equipment collectively enables running a diversity of experiments generating a wide range of data. We have been developing this research capacity and facility to enable research opportunities and synergistic collaborations focusing on soil health, spatial heterogeneity, nutrient cycling and use-efficiency, soil water relationships, climate change, and greenhouse gases fluxes.
Aerodyne N2O isotope laser analyser enables excellent analytical precision even at sub ambient concentrations with 6-seconds time response measurements at 1 Hz of alpha and beta 15N intramolecular positions in addition to mixing ratio concentration. We run both continuous flow mode and discrete injections. Furthermore, continuous flow can be used for steady-state flux or non-steady-state flux with recirculation. Keeling plots calculation follows the non-steady-state measurements for estimation of isotopic composition. Both natural abundance and labelling experiments can be conducted.
Picarro benchtop (CO2, CH4, N2O, NH3, H2O) laser analyser enables ambient analytical precision. The settings facilitate non-steady-state fluxes measurements with recirculation. This instrument can be integrated as a secondary loop with the Aerodyne and the Eosense multi-chamber system.
Picarro scouter (CH4, CO2, H2O) laser analyser enables complete portability and analytical precision even at sub ambient concentrations as well as fast time response (2-3 seconds). Recirculation experiments based on non-steady state chamber measurements are run with concentration frequency measurements near 1 Hz. Studies at remote field sites has been completed in the alpine mountain ranges of British Columbia (~ 2000 m elevation) and Costa Rica (~ 3500 m elevation).
A CombiPAL-Varian Gas chromatograph (CO2, CH4, N2O) analyser system enables concentration measurements in 12 mL vials above-ambient pressure from field static chambers. Thermal conductivity, flame ionization and electron capture detectors for CO2, CH4, and N2O, respectively, enable their simultaneous determination from the same gas sample in four-minutes runs.
Various other field and laboratory instrumentation including eddy-covariance, HyProp tensiometry, and laser scanner enable collaborative research and multiple lines of exciting research.
We are grateful to the funding sources that make possible our research work by supporting this facility in particular to the Canadian Foundation for Innovation – John Evans Leaders Fund.