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DGE Newsletter, November 2008
Field & Berry Lab Groups

Nov. 7: Matt Colgan (student in Asner's Group) presented his recent research titled Ground Biomass Estimates in African Savanna using Airborne LiDAR. He prefaced this work by explaining how he is trying to calibrate the LiDar photos with ground based measurements of the trees in experimental plots in Africa's Kruger National Park and also correct for the effects of aerosols. The Group has established 194 field plots containing over 4000 trees. Eventually, they hope to estimate the biomass within a 250 sq. Km area. Occasional views of lions and elephants added to the excitement of the work.
Tasting: Matt brought five varieties of pears including Bosc, Concorde, Asian, and both yellow & red Bartletts. They differed mainly in texture; the two colors of Bartletts were very similar in taste.
Nov. 14: Naupaka Zimmerman first gave us an overview of all the various kinds of Endophytes that may grow in close association with the roots, stems, and leaves of other plants. Most belong to various groups of Fungi. Then he described some of his own research with the tree species Metrosideros polyorpha in Hawaii and genetic studies of its endophytes.
Tasting: Appropriately, we tasted some exotic fungi including a Porsini-Shitaki soup, bread dipped in Truffle oil, and Reishi/Ling tea. The latter is reputed to be very medicinal, but we, healthy people needed to add a bit of honey to get it down.
Nov. 14: Joe Berry told us about his recent, week-long trip to Sydney, Australia to meet with a group of colleagues who study stomata in leaves. First, he described the evolution of stoma as shown in the fossil record and how they have changed in number, shape and size through time. Second, he spoke about how they function, and finally, relating his work to climate change, he left us with the following: Plants mine water and release it slowly, moderating run-off and humidifying the continents.
Nov. 21: Jen Johnson spoke about her work with a group studying Soil Warming, C/N Interactions, and Feedbacks to the Climate System. She was based at Woods Hole during recent summers and carried out experiments at the Harvard Forest. She described how meter-square plots of groud are warmed by laying metal pipes in trenches covered again with soil. The temperature of the heated pipes is controlled to be five degrees above that of the adjacent, unheated plots. One result of these on-going experments is that warming increased the rate of nitrogen uptake.
Tasting: Jen brought several kinds of citrus fruits inclusing a pimelo, mandarin & naval oranges, and a grapefruit for us to enjoy.

Nov. 19: Jack Silverman gave a seminar titled Ecosystem-Scale Effects of Aragonite Saturation, Temperature, and Nutrients on Coral-Reef Calcification in the Department of Environmental Earth System Sciences at Stanford.
Caldeira Group
Nov. 7: Ken Caldeira submited testimony to the Buitish Parliament that said while steep cuts in carbon emissions are essential to stabilizing global climate, there also needs to be a backup plan. Geoengineering solutions such as injecting dust into the atmosphere are risky, but may become necessary if emissions cuts are insufficient to stave off catastrophic warming. He urged that research into the pros and cons of geoengineering be made a high priority.
Kenny Schneider from Israel has joined the Group as a post doc.
Asner Group
Nov. 6: First spectranomics News Update. Greg has put together several Web pages describing the research that his Group is doing. Please check them out at: http://asnerlab.stanford.edu
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Editor Jan Brown, e-mail: jbrown1@stanford.edu