Hard to believe that we are closing out the field work component of KELPEX! The WP1 dream team finished strong with a successful 5th campaign. At this point we had our sampling approach down to a fine art, and actually started out with some spare time because we did not have to tag new plants.
We soon fixed that by adding a whole other component to the field work. Dissolve organic material! Or DOM.
What is DOM you may ask? Well, a large amount of the total kelp production (20 to 40 %) leaves the forest as dissolved carbon. To measure the rate DOM is produced we sealed small adult kelps in bags of filtered seawater and measured the change in carbon in the water over time.
Handling these bags underwater was a bit of a feat, but hopefully these measures help us get a better handle on this dimension of export.
The final campaign also went smoothly because we brought in the big guns to help with the kelp processing. Our glorious leader Eva showed up for some sample cutting. She also got to splash around in a kelp forest in a leaky dry suit! Exciting times.