Shovel by shovel Dr. Simon Willcock from the University of Bangor in Wales digs a test pit trying to hit bedrock on the top of Mount Lico while caterpillar droppings rain down through the forest canopy. It took two days for the scientists to finish digging and testing the pit. They ran out out of both time and sample boxes, finally probing the pit to a depth of 2.5 meters.
All the test pits were completely filled in, with the original ground on top set aside and then painstakingly replaced in order to return the forest to it’s orginal condition.
By Measuring forest type, cover, density and depth the team hopes to solve mysteries like the age of Lico’s forest. Tropical rainforests store more carbon than any other vegetation on Earth, and the survey here will become part of a global census of carbon, eventually used by the UNFCC to drive international climate policy.