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What about winter fieldwork? There is no bad weather, just bad clothes

While Freiburg lays under a blanket of gray fog, the project A2 is up to hunt some tree-related microhabitats (TreMs). These are specific structures that occur on standing trees and are essential in the network of many forest-dwelling species’ life cycles. The leafless and snowless period is perfect for the inventory of TreMs since then we can then see the whole stem and crown of the trees.
So how does a regular fieldwork day look like? We leave the sleepy Freiburg around 7 a.m. excited to see the beautiful sunrises from the Black Forest. We make sure we have the list of trees we will inventory (15 trees per plot) and all the details regarding them: GPS coordinates, species, diameter, distinct features. Thus, we can find them easier. Extra, we also look at the dead trees. Three, sometimes four layers of clothes, gloves, hat and we are ready to fight the cold and the dense tree regeneration. We often feel like Don Quixote fighting windmills… Once we find and mark our trees, we use binoculars to spot and count the TreMs (such as cavities, epiphytes, nests). And then one tree after another, we survey the whole plot, sometimes two or even three! Now it is time for lunch. Finding a beautiful spot is not difficult at all in the forest! The afternoons are warmer than the fresh mornings, but unfortunately short…soon it will get dark and we have to go back to the city. But we are content, while everything seems the same in the city, we have seen beautiful sceneries, peculiar fungi, funnily shaped trees. Tomorrow we are ready to rock’n’roll again!

by Andreea Spinu (A2)