Current Plan for Collecting
Climate Data for Willow Beetle Project

(implemented in 2009, except for 10 "STA" units scheduled for 2010)

Data that we need for 40 beetle sites:

1. Physiologically relevant air temps ("CUP" loggers) = "foliage air temps" that we have been getting since 2000. We should continue the inexpensive cup and pendant logger sampling so as to be consistent with past data, and to keep the "cheap option" viable in case of future funding shortfalls and/or the need to expand the sampling to more sites. These loggers cost $50 each and require changing the battery once each year. We typically gather data twice each year: once in June and again in October. Long term consistency is vital as we are going to be looking for inter-annual and inter-decadal trends in foliage air temps. Inter-site consistency is also vital as we will be comparing sites for beetle survival and inter-site movement. (see table below). It is important to note that on sunny days, the ground radiation ups the temperature nearly 10 degrees C, as compared with a well-shielded air temperature sensor.

2. Snowmelt dates. ("BASE" loggers) We get an estimate from the CUP loggers which are attatched to the willow branches about .5 - 1.5 m above the ground. Placing a temperature logger at the base of the plant would be more accurate as it would measure snow cover right at ground level. We need this info at every site. In 2009 we added an inexpensive HOBO pendant logger at the base of each plant, attached to a wire for easy retrieval. It does not need to be shielded, since all we will be looking for is timing of snow burial.

3. Foliage air temps and relative humidity inside commercial radiation shields ("PRO" loggers), located immediately adjacent to our cup-shielded loggers. Use of these air shields provides the opportunity to measure actual air temps within the willow canopy, without the confounding effect of radiation from the ground. This system includes a built-in temp/RH sensor, providing relative humidity (RH) data which may be valuable in understanding environmental adaptation in these moisture-loving beetles. Most willow leaf beetles are found in moister habitats such as the high mountains and foggy coast. The batteries in these units should last for at least 2 years (quote from onset technicial).

4. Over wintering site temps ("SOIL" loggers). We have a problem in determining over wintering sites, which are probably near the base of the plants in the most benign winter environment. Until we better determine these locations we plan to simulate one such over wintering environment by placing bags of leaf litter under the plants, and inserting a temperature recorder (HOBO pendant) inside. In summer 2009 we simply buried the SOIL loggers about 10cm under the base of the willow.

5. Environmental (climate) monitoring network of "standard" weather stations ("STA" loggers). The foliage air temperature data tells us about the in-canopy temperature gradients within and between drainages, but this may differ from the air temperature gradients outside the willow canopy. For this reason we need to monitor air temperatures in the three gradients apart from the vegetation canopy, linking local ambient temperatures to in-canopy conditions. Each monitoring station includes a sensor for measuring air temperature and relative humidity, located on a mast 2m above ground away from vegetation and properly shielded from radiation. Each station also includes a sensor for measuring solar radiation. This network includes 3 sites in each of the 3 principal drainages, Big Pine, Bishop and Rock Creeks, at standardized low (9100'), medium (10,100') and high (11,100') elevations. The Big Pine Creek drainage also includes a very low (6800') and a very high site (12,200'), for a total of 11 stations in all. See photo below.

6. Budget assumes 40 active sites, including about 20 "core" sites that have been active since 2000. See MAPS pages for location data and filemaker site list for names and coordinates. We also maintain several additional sites with cup and pendant loggers in other drainages such as Tyee Lakes, Pine Creek and Treasure Lakes.

Summary table (as implemented in 2009)
measurement (see photo above) hardware batt. life location launch sampling rate
1. foliage air temps (CUP) cups and pendants 1 yr All 40 sites laptop every 30 min
2. snowmelt dates (BASE) pendants 1 yr All 40 sites laptop every 30 min
3. shielded foliage air temp (PRO-temp) HOBO pro U-23-002 2 yr? All 40 sites laptop every 30 min
4. shielded foliage RH (PRO-RH) HOBO pro U-23-002 2 yr? All 40 sites laptop every 30 min
5. over wintering site temps (SOIL) pendants 1 yr All 40 sites laptop every 30 min
6. “Standard” climate monitoring station network (STA; see photo below) Tripod-mounted weather station 1 yr 3 sites in BC & RC
5 sites in BPC
laptop every 30 min


preliminary cost analysis (Old information, kept for historical interest)      
  each # cost
NSF budget for up-front datalogging devices (not including a small budget for replacement & repair)     $24,800
Continuing the existing network of cups and loggers (1 above) requires purchase of enough HOBO pendant loggers to keep the system running: 25 loggers over 5 years. $50


BASE and SOIL pendant loggers
$50 80


Combination temperature-humidity device (2,3,4,5 above) HOBO pro U-23-002 w/ shield

$265 40


HOBO "micrologger" weather station datalogger with 4 channels = $250 each
Combination temp/RH "smart sensor" (uses one channel) $160
Tripod kit $210
Mast mount kit for micrologger $22
Shield $60
Total weather station + temp/RH logger $697

$697 11 $7667

Add-on HOBO "smart sensor" devices for 5 stations
With wind speed $250
With soil moisture $150
With light intensity $240
Add-on total for 5 stations $686

$686 5  
Total all devices     $22667
Note there is a small budget for equipment and battery replacement each year = $900/yr.