Beneath the Surface of the Climate Garden
Syracuse University’s Climate Change Garden is growing, but it’s what you can’t see that is of most interest to scientists. This video, produced by News Service intern Xinxin Li, explains how tiny underground cameras will be used to take key measurements relating to root growth, and ultimately, climate change.
The following is a transcription of the video:
“So for all 33 of these species, we’ve got three blocks within one spot campus network. Eventually going to take measurements that students can use and analyze the performance of these species. So one immediate outcome of having the garden on campus is literally right outside of our indoor laboratories here in biology department is that, undergraduates taking a variety of courses and our new biology curriculum will be able to interact hands on in both laboratories and classes, when you can walk right out the classroom and handle these plants. So we can take studying this fall, and spring we can start to take measurements on how these plants essentially breathe, how quickly they are obtaining carbon from the atmosphere, creating sugars, using them for variety of metabolic processes, will be monitoring how these plants use water. So if the plants are healthy, they use water in photosynthesis so water goes straight up stem, right to the leaves, so students can monitor that in real time. And then a variety of other things that are related to the climates these plants experience from year to year—bases, for example when they leaf out in the spring, and when they lose leaves on fall, their different behaviors used to grow, how they grow roots, and what time during the year they grow roots. We have special underground cameras we use for that. And then there is a lot of opportunities to develop related exercises—for example, pest insects that might be associated with these plants, and a variety of other things, that again having all of these resources available in one spot, so close to where classes otherwise taking place make it pretty much unrivaled resources for us on campus.”