This project takes advantage of research field stations managed by University of California.

Blodgett Forest Research Station—Coniferous Forest Site

We’ve been conducting a warming experiment at this site for several years now. The experiment is located in a thinned 80-year-old stand of mixed coniferous forest underlain by Alfisols of granitic origin with a developed O horizon. We have also conducted research in a nearby stand at Blodgett Forest on stabilization of root and needle inputs. The Alfisol soil type at Blodgett is typical of a coniferous forest (Rasmussen et al. 2005. Mineral Assemblage and Aggregates Control Carbon Dynamics in a California Conifer Forest. Soil Science Society of America Journal 69:1711–1721), and is globally important in terms of land area (13.5% of global land area) and soil carbon (127 Pg C in the top meter (Eswaran et al. 1993. Organic Carbon in Soils of the World. Soil Science Society of America Journal 57:192–194).

The Blodgett Forest Research Station is owned and operated by UC Berkeley Forests. The station is located on the Georgetown Divide of the Sierra Nevada foothills near Georgetown, California, at 1370 m asl, 240 km NE of LBNL. The forest is divided into 90 compartments, each about 13 hectares, that are managed under various forestry scenarios. The dominant vegetation type is mixed conifer forest including ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana), incense cedar (Calodefrus decurrens), white fir (Abies concolor), and douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). The research station provides facilities including a computer lab, overnight accommodations, and electricity to power research in certain compartments. A weather station monitors temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, and precipitation.

The Point Reyes Field Station—Grassland Site

The UC reserve system has teamed up with the Point Reyes National Seashore to create a reserve inside the Point Reyes National Seashore, one hour from LBNL. The Point Reyes National Seashore is distinguished by a mosaic of parent materials and vegetation types. The climate is sub-humid mesothermal with cool foggy summers and cool moist winters. Mean annual temperature is ~11.7° C, mean annual precipitation is ~75 cm.  The soil is a ~120 cm deep poorly drained alfisol formed in strongly weathered sandstone. Carbon density drops from 3.7±0.1% at 0-10 cm to 0.3±0.1% at 75-100 cm (mean±s.e.), while C/N ratio is 12 at the surface and 4 at depth. This C/N ratio is in stark contrast to the widening C/N ratio at depth at Blodgett. Our site at Hagmeier Ranch is an open meadow dominated by annual grasses, with a ~12% slope and SW aspect.

The Point Reyes Field Station is headquartered at the historic Hagmaier Ranch House, 70 km NW of LBNL (37.98°N, 122.74°W). The field station is well-situated for research on well over 100,000 acres of remarkably diverse ecological landscape within the Point Reyes National Seashore. Facilities include a Ranch house with meeting room, kitchen, small wet laboratory, work space, two bathrooms (one shower), beds for eight people. There is also an outside camping area with restroom and shower access in a barn.