Link to 2013 NPR Piece on our root research!

Overview: Our lab uses multiple methods to understand variation in below-ground processes in response to tree diversity. We have examined C flux below ground using scanner-based minirhizotron technology (CI-600), IRGA technology, estimation of total below-ground carbon allocation, root excavation, and (in collaboration with other labs) nitrogen mineralization and microbial community techniques. Our work has focused on three systems: 1) the inter-mountain west cottonwood hybrid system between native Populus trees P. angustifolia and P. fremontii (since 2001)More about the Cottonwood System2) second-growth temperate rainforests on the Evergreen College reserve (minirhizotron and IRGA work since 2006). More about the EEON project 3) East Cascades ponderosa pine systems (Sinlahekin valley, WA – since 2008).

Root Scanner: The CI-600  is a scanner based technology which takes large underground images (21.59 x 19.56 cm) in buried 6.99 cm diam. acrylic tubes. For more information please see Here are some examples at different image resolutions: Here are some examples at different image resolutions:

75 dpi root images

200 dpi root images

600 dpi root images

For more information e-mail Dylan Fischer at :

Dylan Fischer, PhD

Evergreen State College

2700 Evergreen Parkway NW

Olympia, WA 98505