Thanks to WATSON’s STSM, I had the opportunity to visit Dr. Pilar Llorens and her team from the Surface Hydrology and Erosion group of the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC) in Barcelona. I had a great time participating in a diverse range of activities strongly related to WATSON’s objectives. I had very fruitful discussions about plant water uptake depths and dynamics in different biomes as well as isotope fractionation effects and issues occurring with organic contamination during laser-based isotope analysis. During several field visits to the group’s research catchment (Vallcebre), I had the opportunity to learn more about water flow pathways and sources in this mountainous catchment. Together with collaborating scientists Teresa Gimeno and Adrià Barbeta, we performed together with the team of IDAEA-CSIC a soil and xylem water sampling campaings, of great relevance for WATSON. Here, I could also work with an exciting water extraction factility at the University of Barcelona (Adrià Barbeta’s lab) to extract xylem water for water stable isotope analysis.
Overall, the STSM has been very successful in enhancing the scientific cooperation. Results of our joint sampling will be further discussed and foster future experimental ideas. This will continue to strengthen our scientific partnership.