ECN Cairngorm site welcomes international researchers
ECN Cairngorm has welcomed visiting researchers from the USA and Spain over the past couple of weeks. Martha Apple, Associate Professor at Montana Tech, USA, and Dr Alba Gutiérrez Girón (Complutense University of Madrid) came to the site for their project looking at plant functional traits at varying altitudes and habitats.
The project, called 'Research on Alpine Plant Traits and Functionality in the Context of Climate Change' (RAPT), was supported by the European Commission via the INTERACT project's Transnational Access scheme. This enables visiting scientists to access a range of Arctic and Subarctic research stations and sites, including ECN's Cairngorm site.
The fieldwork involved long days on Sgoran Dubh Mor, the highest hill in the catchment at 1,111m, enjoying nine days of continuously hot and dry weather, a rarity in these parts!
At several locations multiple vegetation quadrats were used to record the presence of species, whilst examples of each species present were collected for detailed measurements of specific traits.
Martha Apple (left), Chris Andrews (centre) and Alba Gutiérrez Girón (right)