(Professor Steve Lougheed discussing frog call phenology-climate change project at Elbow Lake.)
今天又是阴雨连绵的一天。上午八点半我们乘车来到elbow lake。这里原是惠普公司高层度假用地，现在正在成为QUBS的一部分。由于此湖未与其他江湖相连，相对封闭独立，无入侵物种，故这里有很高的科研价值。我们在Steve的带领下，在湖边徒步，跨过山丘，穿过树林，找寻到海狸修建的大坝和窝。这些窝就是神奇的海狸之家——海狸在适合的地方修建了大坝，拦截上流的水，使得洼地里水位上升，使该地区内树木相继死亡，并将树木啃断，吃食树木的花和叶。它们将一个地区的食物吃光就搬到其它区域，促进了该区域湿地生态系统的发展。Steve给我们介绍到，为了记录各种青蛙的叫声和监测湿地的气候、温度等指标的变化，在3块海狸筑坝的湿地安置了功能强大的监测仪，监测仪由麦克风、温度计等部分构成。此外，Steve还给我们介绍了蛙类出现和光线、满月、温度等的关系。沿途而下我们穿越了小片灌木丛，因为连续降雨的缘故，地面变得更为泥泞。一路上，我们还关注了雨后冒出的很多蘑菇和菌类，以及各种鸟类和两栖动物。虽然一路走来，我们都略显疲惫和狼狈，但当我们站在山头，却也感觉到特别的神清气爽。很多中国学生可能这是第一次拥有这样的经历，却让我们所有的人无一例外地体会到了大自然的独特魅力。 经过几小时的跋涉，我们中午我们在温暖的木屋里进行了简单的午餐。毕竟冒着雨徒步了好几小时，大家都在车上都睡着了。老师充分考虑到大家的需求，给了我们一个很大的惊喜。一觉醒来，就把我们带到了期待已久的购物场，但遗憾的是这个惊喜让我们措手不及，大家一身运动打扮几乎身无分文，还好王老师慷慨解囊，最终两个小时的购物后大家都满载而归。 饥肠辘辘的我们终于得晚饭前回到了大本营，丰富的晚餐让每个人都十分满足。饭后是王老师给我们带来了“Thoughts for fish,water and environment？”，以亚马逊流域和西藏地区为例进行详细的介绍。之后依然是“美丽中国”纪录片，今天是西藏篇，这一集是BBC邀请王老师作为科学顾问共同拍摄完成的。在这集的介绍中，我们领略到了西藏的文化的魅力以及当地人与生态环境的和谐相处。
(Fudan and Southwest students at Elbow Lake with Steve Lougheed.)
A nasty raining day, but still we put on our water-proof coats, even rain coat and brought plenty of water and food. We headed out to our hiking destination: Elbow Lake, which used to be a resort of HP and became part of QUBS not long ago. Isolated with other lakes, Elbow Lake is not invaded by any kind of exotic species, such as zebra mussels, which guarantees its high scientific research value. In the guidance of Steve Lougheed, we walked along the lake, went across bushes, until we arrived a pond made by beavers. They built the dam using wood and bushes, mud and leaves. With the help of water flow, the dam is strong enough to block the water flow and raise water level so that they can build beaver houses in the middle of the wetland. Safe and comfortable, they really know how to enjoy life, don’t they? And they also help the formation of wetland in the mean time which benefits a lot to other animals and plants, and themselves, as long as they don’t hit themselves when cutting down a tree.
(Active beaver dam on HP property.)
Steve is also doing a very interesting research in these wetlands. He is monitoring the temperature and humidity of the microclimate of some chosen wetlands, the most important, the calling time and pattern of different kinds of frogs. The inspiration came from an exist research about the relationship between frog breeding season and climate change. Some frog species may not be able to deal with climate change which will be reflected on their population and other aspects. It is a 20 years research; hopefully, we will know what’s happening 17 years later. We could still find a lot of interesting creatures in a raining day, like fungi, moss, lichen, birds and amphibians. But we were supposed to be able to find lizards in a sunny day when they come out for sun bath. We ate sandwiches, cookies, peanuts and grapes in a beautiful cabin near the lake. Yuxiang and Mingzhi wouldn’t tell us the schedule for afternoon. It sounded like they had a big surprise for us, which did surprise us a lot when we woke up on the van and found ourselves in front of a big shopping mall. None of us expected to go shopping in the morning, let alone being wise enough to bring any money, even credit card. Yuxiang helped us again, generously.
Nothing is better than yummy dinner in QUBS. Yuxiang gave us a lecture about his major research on comparative physiology and fish adaptation, named Thoughts for Fish, Water and Environment. He talked about Pirarucu, a large air-breathing fish and Oscar, low oxygen tolerant fish, and other weird fishes living in the Amazon, and also scale-less carp living in Qinghai Lake, Tibet. After the lecture, Yuxiang was proud to show us the documentary Wild China: Tibet, which he was invited to help filming.
(Figurines at local store.)
(GPS track for August 23rd 2010.)
(Getting ready to hike at Elbow Lake.)
(QUBS lodge at night.)