29.09.2023 Finishing the first field season successfully

Green plastic tree tag in front of the bark, which was nailed to an oak tree, with handwritten "TREE-M 5 Q. robur".
Photo: Zina Morbach

During the last September week, the Tree-M team finished its final field campaign at Caldern forest. Relying on the help of professional tree climbers, the scientists collected leaves from 8 trees at the University's research forest in the span of 4 days. For their research, they need leaves both from the sunny and the shady parts of the trees, meaning that climbers needed to reach even the outer branches up high in the trees.

Picture of two women working at Caldern forest, one a professional tree climber in full gear hanging at head height in the air, the other a scientist wearing outdoor clothes and a helmet handing her a cooler bag for sample collection.
Photo: Zina Morbach

At the beginning of the field season, a work pipeline was established once the leaves reached the ground in their sterile containers, where first pictures were taken using hyperspectral imaging (1) and then the leaves were scanned (2). They were finally stored in sterile bags and petri dishes and put in cooling boxes until further processing could be done in the laboratory in the afternoon. This was the fourth and final field campaign of the year and constitutes reaching one of the main project milestones. 

1) Hyperspectral imaging     

Machine scanning an oak leave at Caldern forest, with laptop showing the captured leave structure.
Photo: Zina Morbach

2) Scanning of an oak leave

Oak leave lying in a sterile bag in an open scanner ready to be scanned at Caldern forest. There are also people wearing helmets, masks and gloves to not contaminate the leave.
Photo: Zina Morbach

In Tree-M, an interdisciplinary team of researchers of the University of Marburg, the University Gießen and the MPI for terrestrial Microbiology investigates the microbe communities living on pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) leaves. They also study the complex interactions of these microbes with the biotic and abiotic environmental conditions that are present in the phyllosphere of oak trees. 

Hand in a sterile glove holding up an oak tree leave in a sterile see-through bag.
Photo: Zina Morbach

For more details on the research conducted in each subproject, please visit the Projects subsite


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