Vargas, Rodrigo (Univ. of California, Riverside, Center for Conservation Biology, University Laboratory, Riverside, CA, 92521; Phone: 951-827-6314; Fax: 951-827-4625; Email:


Soil Embedded Networked Systems for Studying Soil Carbon Dynamics: The A-MARSS Project


R. Vargas*, M. F. Allen, M. Hamilton, W. Swenson


'The role of soil microorganisms is still a black box in global change research because soil processes are difficult to quantify in space and time. We collaborate with the NSF S&T Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS), and are developing the Automated-Minirhizotron and Arrayed Rhizosphere-Soil Sensors (A-MARSS). A-MARSS is a wireless array technology to study mycorrhizal and has applications to soil carbon dynamics. The goal is to spatially measure moisture, temperature, nitrate, and CO2, coupled to an automated camera to observe roots and mycorrhizae in soils.  Solid-state CO2 probes coupled with dielectric soil moisture and temperature sensors are being monitored to study soil CO2 concentration and flux at three different depths. This sensor array has shown significant relationships between CO2 concentration in soils, soil temperature and soil moisture. The sensors array, their spatial distribution and ongoing results will be presented.   For a better understanding of soil carbon dynamics high sampling resolution data is required. Soil embedded networked systems is an alternative tool to obtain large amount of data and opens new possibilities for environmental modeling. The bottom line of this presentation is to describe small scale spatial and temporal variability of CO2 concentration in soils by using soil embedded networked systems