Fieldwork continues in Poland
Another sampling is behind us. We visited numerous cities and nature reserves in Poland to collect samples for the Preludium 21 project funded by the Polish National Science Centre.
Photo: Bartłomiej Surmacz. Forest greenery near Kraków.
The extensive sample collection will allow us to explore patterns of meiofauna diversity in a gradient of human impact. The sampling includes different habitats, from totally anthropogenic to the most pristine forests in Europe. We know that natural forests are biodiversity hotspots for a plethora of organisms, but will such resilient animals as tardigrades also follow this pattern?
Photos: Bartłomiej Surmacz. Sometimes you can get some Harry Potter's Forbidden Forest chills during sampling, especially when you're in the nature reserves of the Białowieża or Knyszyńska Forests.
Soon we will dig into the samples and try to find out whether tardigrades respond to human impact in their environment. Stay tuned for news!
Photos: Bartłomiej Surmacz. Mosses and lichens are often filled with tardigrades, which is why this is the type of material we collect during sampling trips.