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A Burkard pollen trap is placed on the rooftop of the University's canteen for aerobiological pollen measurements. This pollen trap has a built-in pump to aspirate air (ten liters per minute) through a 14 mm x 2 mm orifice. A drum is mounted behind the orifice on which a tape (Melinix), applied with a thin layer of Vaseline, is attached. Aspirated pollen and other organic and anorganic particles adhere to this tape. The drum moves with a speed of 2 mm/h, makes one revolution in seven days and is changed every week at the same time. In the laboratory, the tape is cut into seven day segments, which makes it possible to determine the average pollen concentration per day.
Personal Volumetric Air Samplers (PVAS) allow an hourly resolution of aerobiological pollen concentration. Air is taken in through an orifice on top of the sampler and contained pollen impacts directly on an inserted slide. The PVAS are used for indoor measurements or other measurement campaigns.
One gravitative pollen trap is placed in the canteen's front yard. It measures the cumulated amount of pollen over a longer period of time (normally one week). The slide is applied with a thin layer of Vaseline on which pollen deposits through gravity. This methodology is also applied in many of our research projects.
All slides are prepared in our laboratory for further analysis. Special applications include extraction of pollen trapped in flowers to determine pollen production or preparation of extracts from samples collected in Tauber pollen traps.
Pollen composition and concentration can be determined using an optical microscope (Zeiss) and be displayed on the computer with a high-resolution camera. In addition to outdoor pollen traps the professorship also uses several indoor pollen traps to measure individual pollen and spore exposure.
The drone XR6 (Airborne Robotics) can be equipped with a high resolution RGB-camera (Sony Alpha 6000) or a 4-channel multispectral camera (Tetracam Mirco-MCA 4). This makes it possible to address questions in the field of remote sensing such as the assessment of plant vitality and phenology.
This special camera can be used to measure biophysical vegetation features such as plant canopy indices. It can also be used in urban climatology (e.g. sky view factor). Image data can be analyzed using HemiView software.
The Plant Canopy Analyzer LAI-2200C (LI-COR) can be used to measure indices such as the leaf area index (LAI). LAI is calculated from the below and above canopy measurements using the integrated optical sensor.
The SPAD-502Plus chlorophyll meter (Konica Minolta Optics) determines the SPAD value as a relative indicator of chlorophyll content and can also be used for very small leaf areas. It measures the amount of light transmitted (or absorbed) by the leaf at wavelengths of 650 nm (red) and 940 nm (infrared).
The climate chamber is not only suitable for the calibration of measuring instruments, but is also used in experimental work. These relate, among other things, to phenology, seed testing and pollen viability.
For our research projects several weather stations are available, including one at the KU Eichsätt canteen car park, which records weather data in one-minute intervals.
The measured parameters include temperature and humidity of air and soil, precipitation, wind direction and wind speed, air pressure and radiation. The parameters are measured following the standards of the German Meteorological Office (DWD). All data can be requested and used for student projects.
Other various modern measuring instruments (e.g. Kestrel Weather Tracker, Heat Stress Tracker,Wind Anemometer) are also available for research projects and courses. The wind anemometers can be attached to existing measurement towers to determine wind turbulence.
The measuring table LinnTab 6 enables the analysis of tree cores, for example with regard to ring thickness and texture. This information can be used to draw conclusions on climatological or geomorphological changes in a specific area.
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