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Once again, entomologists of B2 in the field

From January 14 to February 28, Chilean entomologists from subproject B2 conducted an extensive fieldwork campaign in the Atacama Desert and adjacent regions to address tasks of the second phase of CRC1211. This campaign was divided in two main parts.

The first part involved the installation of trap systems in five longitudinal transects south of the hyperarid area of the Atacama Desert between Copiapó and Coquimbo (27º-30ºS) and from the coast to high Andes (above 4,700 m asl). The objective of this experiment was to obtain material for a better and general understanding of the origin/migration corridors of insects, particularly darkling beetles, inhabiting the hyperarid Atacama Desert, i.e., an understanding of the biogeographical interactions between the Coquimbo and Atacama regions.

During the second part of the trip, we installed an experimental station in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert with the main goal of defining a desert region largely devoid of metabolically active organisms. The chosen locality is south of Calama on the western slope of the Cordillera Domeyko at above 3,000 m asl. To first confirm the complete absence of arthropods, we set up a large-scale pitfall trap system covering an area about 8,100 m2 This experimental station works with a flexible weather station which is provided by colleagues of the Z-cluster and is controlled in regular intervals of two months.

After 11,132 kilometers covered, about 70 collection points and more than 20 kg of collected material, our journey was successfully completed and besides the often very demanding scientific work, many beautiful and funny stories remain in our memories.

 

 

 

IMG 1029 1 350pxNycterinus feeding on cacti
Photo: Alvaro Zúñiga

 

IMG 1029 1 350pxPitfall traps worked
Photo: Alvaro Zúñiga

 

IMG 1029 1 350pxPsectrascelis pilosa a sand swimmer
Photo: Alvaro Zúñiga

 

IMG 1029 1 350pxExperimental station under contruction
Photo: Alvaro Zúñiga

 

IMG 1029 1 350pxExperimental station looking for life in the hyperarid core of Atacama
Photo: Alvaro Zúñiga

 

 

IMG 1029 1 350pxEnding the trip
Photo: Alvaro Zúñiga

 

 Project

CRC 1211 Summer Lecture Series 2021

Summer Lecture 2021

for all CRC 1211 members

Mondays during the summer semester - 5:00-6:30 pm via Zoom

B1/B7 – first field trip in Phase 2 completed

During January and February 2021, Chilean members of B1 and B7, Paloma Morales and Alexandra Stoll realized the first field campaign to the Atacama Desert of these two subprojects in second phase.

The first part of this field trip was focussed on the population sampling of Huidobria chilensis in its natural habitat. In ten days, 18 current and historical localities were visited, travelling nearly 4,500 km between La Serena and Tocopilla, from the coast up to the Andean foothills (2,100 m asl). At some historical sites (e.g., herbarium collections from the 1960’s) this native desert shrub could not be found anymore, despite its several adaptions to this extreme environment. Finally, leaf material (and seeds) from 20 individuals of nine populations from H. chilensis were collected, between Copiapo to Mejillones. Additionally, some potential areas of hybridisation with its “sister” species H. fruticosa were visited, of which the population genetics were studied in the first phase of CRC1211.

The second part of the campaign was dedicated to a raster sampling in the southernmost known tillandsial, formed by Tillandsia landbeckii in vicinity to Caldera, Atacama Region. T. landbeckii is a terrestrial epiphyte (plant without functional roots), which obtains its water and nutrients from the coastal fog moisture through specialized leaf scales, one of its adaptation to this arid habitat. Its characteristic growth form in lens-shaped mounds that form bands across the slopes conspicuous in the landscape and even on satellite images. Placed on dunes at the sea-facing hillside of the first coastal mountain range, the Caldera tillandsial extends on several square kilometres, with impressive slopes and remarkable differences in altitude between 400 and 1,100 m asl. Here, following a sampling grid, nearly 500 individuals were collected to correlate their genetic and morphological characteristics with their location within the tillandsial (altitude, exposition, fog availability).

In total, nearly 250 herbarium specimens were vouchered for morphological analyses and approximately 750 samples collected for population genetics.

 

 

IMG 1029 1 350px Closeup of Huidobria chilensis with flowers (population near Diego de Almagro)
Photo:
P. Morales

 

IMG 1029 1 350pxH. chilense in its natural habitat (population near Diego de Almagro)
Photo:
P. Morales

 

IMG 1029 1 350px Paloma Morales sampling patiently the small and sticky leaves of H. chilensis (population near Diego de Almagr)
Photo:
A. Stoll

 

IMG 1029 1 350pxAlexandra Stoll in a coastal ravine in Paoposo (near Taltal) looking for mixed populations of H. chilensis and H. fruticosa.
Photo:
A. Stoll

 

IMG 1029 1 350px Tillandsial landscape and dunes near Caldera
Photo: A. Stoll

 

IMG 1029 1 350pxSampled and individualized tillandsia mound in plot Q12 (located in the middle of the plot sampling area)
Photo:
A. Stoll

 

 

IMG 1029 1 350px Closeup of Tillandsia landbeckii habit and flowers at the Caldera tillandsial
Photo: A. Stoll

 

IMG 1029 1 350pxFinalized plot sampling plotted over satellite imagine in GoogleEarth - cyan and pink colored lines represent the individual GPS tracks of P. Morales and A.Stoll
Photo:
Google Earth

 

 ProjectProject

CRC 1211 partakes in Graduate School Scholarship Programme awarded to GSGS, Cologne

logo GSGS DAADSupported by the Graduate School Scholarship Programme (GSSP) of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Graduate School of Geosciences (GSGS) at the University of Cologne offers four promising international doctoral candidates the opportunity to pursue a doctorate as a part of an existing coordinated research programme, including CRC 1211, supervised by a Cologne Geoscientist. Deadline for applications for the first two scholarships is 28th April, 2021. Further information can be found through the call website.

Geophysical Survey in PAR clay pan 2019 - Project A2

Geophysical Survey in PAR clay pan 2019 - Project A2

After 9 days of intense field work, we successfully finished our geophysical field survey at the key CRC research site - the clay pan PAR north of the Paranal observatories. As part of project A02 (V. Wennrich, M. Melles), an extensive large scale Transient Electromagnetic survey was conducted by the Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology of the UoC (B. Blanco, W. Mörbe, P. Yogeshwar, B. Tezkan). Our colleagues Daniel Diaz and Borja Farah from the University of Chile, Santiago de Chile joined this successful survey. First preliminary TEM results indicate a two channel system with a sedimentary sequence of roughly 150 m above bedrock. The 3D survey setup with ~110 soundings will provide a clear image of the 3D subsurface geometry with respect to the sedimentary infill, bedrock topography and possible deposition regimes down to a depth of 200 - 300 m.

Additional Magnetic measurements covered the complete central part of the clay pan. Two 8 km long NS and EW magnetic transects were measured from volcanic outcrops crossing the basin as well as a fault system blocking the central basin towards the west.

The geophysical results will significantly support the selection of optimal coring positions as well as the core interpretation and understanding of site genesis.

Prior to the geophysical field survey, we were invited by Daniel Diaz for a colloquium on electromagnetic exploration methods. Talks on actual geophysical research projects and state of the art of current developments for shallow to deep exploration were presented (see link below). The colloquium was well attended and followed by inspired and exciting discussions.

https://sfb1211.uni-koeln.de/index.php/news/14-news/latest/91-university-of-chile-first-colloquium-on-electromagnetic-geophysical-exploration-techniques

 

 

IMG 1029 1 350px Setting the logger system for Magnetic surveying.
Photo:
P. Yogeshwar

 

IMG 1029 1 350pxOne of several dust "remolinos" that visited us during the survey.
Photo:
P. Yogeshwar

 

IMG 1029 1 350pxHandling of the TEM equipment.
Photo:
P. Yogeshwar

 

IMG 1029 1 350pxSetting up a TEM transmitter.
Photo:
P. Yogeshwar

 

IMG 1029 1 350pxView on Paranal clay pan.
Photo: P. Yogeshwar


Project



Contact

  Speaker:
Prof. Dr. Tibor J. Dunai
Institute of Geology and Mineralogy | University of Cologne
Zülpicher Str. 49b | 50674 Cologne
+49 (0)221 470-3229 | tdunai@uni-koeln.de
   
  Managing Director:
Christian Tiede
Institute of Geology and Mineralogy | University of Cologne

Zülpicher Str. 49b | 50674 Cologne
+49 (0)221 470-89833 | christian.tiede@uni-koeln.de

 _

  Co-Speaker:
Prof. Dr. Martin Melles
Institute of Geology and Mineralogy | University of Cologne

Zülpicher Str. 49a | 50674 Cologne
+49 (0)221 470-2262 | mmelles@uni-koeln.de
   
  Webmaster:
Tim Schlüter
Institute of Geography | University of Cologne

Otto-Fischer-Str. 4 | 50674 Cologne
+49 (0)221 470-3735 | webmaster@sfb1211.de

 _

  Co-Speaker:
Prof. Dr. Dietmar Quandt
Nees Institute for Biodiversity of Plants | University of Bonn

Meckenheimer Allee 170 | 53115 Bonn
+49 (0)228 73-3315 | quandt@uni-bonn.de
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