2. Field campaign: Hainan, China, 06.03.2017 – 04.06.2017
Finally! On 6th of March, we travelled to Haikou to start our second field campaign for the ECOLOC project. Most of the samples from the last field work were already processed and analyzed. Ideas for publications took shape or were already put down on paper. So it was time to get new material to work on, to deepen our studies and to gain new insights in the coastal ecosystems of Hainan. This time, it was much easier – literally. Instead of 1200 kg of equipment like last year, we only had 700 kg of equipment to transport to China. A part of our equipment from the last field campaign, including a drying oven, two fridge-freezers and many boxes, was still stored at the Hainan University (HNU) in Haikou. One of the first tasks after arriving in Haikou and getting adapted to the tropical climate was to check this equipment and to sort out what is needed for the field work this time. This was a good way to overcome the jetlag. And an easy one, because the boxes were already properly labeled last year.
Another important step was the meeting with our Chinese cooperation partners to discuss the first results and talk about the plans for the upcoming field work. There were very interesting short presentations about the following topics:
Marco Drews discussed the question “Can well-managed aquaculture reduce the anthropogenic carbon footprint?”.
Esther Thomsen presented “Seagrass under stress – Responses to aquaculture effluent input”.
Inga Nordhaus and Marlene Cordts talked about the “Diversity and community composition of Hainan’s coastal benthic invertebrates related to the dispersal of land-derived pollutants”.
Finally, Zhao Hongwei explained the “Analyses of antibiotics and the relevant resistence genes in Dongzhai Mangrove”.
In this way, everyone was informed about the current status of our work. But to finally start our work in the field, we still needed more material. To be more precise: several chemicals to calibrate measuring instruments or stabilize samples, fertilizer for a seagrass study and so on. Thanks to our Chinese cooperation partners, these things could be ordered in Haikou and were directly sent to the Hainan University.
After a few days of preparation, everything was ready and we could transport all the necessary equipment to Wenchang City which is located about 60 km southeast of Haikou. Our hotel in Wenchang was the starting point for the field work in the next weeks.
— Franziska Günther, ECOLOC coordinator