Prairie Pothole sampling

We just got back from North Dakota, where we were sampling cores at the USGS Cottonwood Lakes research site, just outside Jamestown.

Cores were recovered from some of the semi-permanent lakes at the site; lots of sulfide smells, and very cold weather were the main features of the trip

The site at Jamestown consists of a series of closely linked lakes that exchange water via subsurface transport. The semi-permanent lakes are generally characterized by high organic carbon concentrations in pore waters, and sometimes high concentrations of sulfur species. The plan is now to extract DNA from the core material and initially perform 16S rRNA analyses to assess microbial community structure. These results will be used to direct samples for further community genomic analyses

Brandon McAdams obtaining core material at the Cottonwood Lakes PPL site in North Dakota

Off to North Dakota…

Tomorrow we’ll be heading out to Jamestown, North Dakota, to sample sediments and pore waters in prairie pothole lakes (PPLs). PPLs are depressions in the landscape formed by retreating glaciers; now they’re seasonal and semi-permanent wetlands in Minnesota, North Dakota, and parts of Canada. The sediments associated with these lakes are often highly reducing, with significant concentrations of sulfide and organic carbon

PPLs to the west of Jamestown, ND

We’re going to see what microorganisms are present in these environments, and what biogeochemical cycles they drive

Forecast is cold…..we’ll report back next week