A canopy access system for researchers is in place in Arrays 1 to 6. This system was installed Spring 2018. At the top of each 25 meter high central tower, a cross bar extends from the tower, to a maximum of 4 metres (see image below). The length of each cross bar differs between arrays dependant on the proximity of the trees. A winch system can be moved between arrays and connected to a researcher’s choice of cross bar and also at their specified distance away from the central tower. The electric ascender system is operated by the BIFoR Operations team who have all had considerable training and deemed competent persons, however the researcher does not need prior training in order to be a user of the Canopy Access System. Regular users of the Canopy Access system are Anna Gardner, Carolina Mayoral, Sue Quick and Tom King
BIFoR also enlists the help of local tree surgeons monthly from March to October to collect leaf and twig tissue from 3 heights in the canopy in each of the 9 arrays for oak trees, and sub canopy trees hawthorn, hazel and sycamore (see video below). We have a bio bank of tissue sample from 2015 to 2020. It is possible we can ask the tree surgeons to take additional samples for new research proposals.
We encourage new research ideas and requests to use the 'Canopy Access System'. If you've got a research idea that requires access to the canopy, be it related to research in our elevated carbon dioxide arrays (atmosphere of the future) and / or our control plots (atmosphere of today!). Please complete the form or you contact us with your initial idea and we can take it from there.
Researcher Anna Gardner, is able to reach the sunlit leaves at the top of the canopy to take her measurements of photosynthesis and stomatal conductance.
Looking up at the cross bars.
One of the canopy access system operators. Communication with researcher is via walkie talkie.