On one of the first mild days in February, dukes Emily Bernhardt and her stream ecology team donned their hip waders and ventured out to the sycamore-lined banks of New HOPE Creek! This creek goes to Chapel Hill and Durham before emptying in Jordan lake the main supply of drinking water for central North Carolina! Bernhardt dipped a gas sensor into the water. She and her colleagues have been monitoring the oxygen and carbon dioxide that occur as these gases get taken up and are released from algae, insects, fish, and other stream organisms while they go about their business of life which is photosynthesizing, growing, digesting, and decomposing.
This breathing in and breathing out of all of the organisms living in a river is sort of the pulse of the stream. It is a fundamental measure of the energy going in and out of the system explains Bernhardt! This is a cool invention so we can track the number of greenhouse gases which are getting emitted from bodies of water! Let’s hope that this invention can make our beloved earth a better place to live for our future generations to come!
Author: Sri Nihal Tammana
Source: Duke University
PC: Larisa-K via Pixabay