More on our project investigating human impact on Malaysian wetlands...this time by Masters student Charly Briddon
|Charly Briddon on Tasik Chini undertaking a diatom habitat |
|The diverse plant communities of Tasik Chini provide a range|
of different habitats for microscopic diatoms.
The second part of my project is to try to characterise the organic material in the lake sediments. I started off by conducting loss-on-ignition analysis, which is literally burning the mud to give an estimate of the proportion of organic versus minerogenic material. I am also developing a technique to look at the fluorescence characteristics of the porewaters. We are using a UV visible spectrometer which provides 3-dimensional data on excitation and emission to provide information on where the organic matter in the sediments comes from- for example is it from soil erosion or from algal blooms in the lake. This technique is quite novel and I am looking forward to using this piece of equipment which is brand new to the university, this part of my project is being supervised by Dr Shafi Tareq from the School of Biosciences in Malaysia.
|Charly Briddon, Shafi Tareq and Suzanne McGowan|
undertaking porewater flourescence analysis.
Initial results from the diatom and organic analysis indicate that changes observed in the sediments appear to correspond with changes in human activities in the lake catchment, possibly associated with deforestation in the 1940s and the building of the dam around 1995. We also think that there might be evidence for acidification from atmospheric contamination in recent decades. However, we are waiting for dating of the core to be completed before these results can be interpreted with more certainty. I am looking forward to completing my laboratory work in mid-June when analysis of the results obtained and write up of my dissertation can start in earnest.
Charly Briddon is a Masters student at Keele University undertaking her project within the Centre for Environmental Geochemistry at the University of Nottingham and the British Geological Survey