In addition to the jumping ants, leeches, snakes, mud and mosquitoes we saw a wide range in climatic conditions, from strong winds with temperatures in the high 20’s, to a heat wave in the high 30’s followed by cool drizzle in the low 20’s, all making sampling around the lake challenging.
The study implemented a variety of sampling techniques aimed to account for the three main methane pathways to the atmosphere. Methane diffusion rates and plant mediated flux rates were measured during multiple transects, using a floating chamber coupled with a Los Gatos gas analyser. Ebullition rates and concentrations were measured using replicate methane cones and run through a Piccaro methane isotope analyser (cavity ring-down spectroscopy). In addition spatial and temporal representations of water column methane concentrations were measured during a 96h time series using a second Piccaro (CRDS) measuring methane, carbon dioxide and their isotopes, along with multiple spatial transect grab samples, from different regions of the lake and vegetation types.
In an effort to quantify lily coverage we sought the assistance of some drone mapping from Brendan Kelaher at the National Marine Science Centre, to accurately quantify the % of vegetative coverage within the lake. Future research sites were also scouted and prepared for seasonal vegetative methane flux measurements, from a within a variety of habitats and intermittently wet- dry floodplain areas.
The results from this preliminary research will be processed over the next 6 months aiming for publication in late 2017.”