Author Topic: Lycopodium Spores  (Read 786 times)

Offline Jopo

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Lycopodium Spores
« on: June 09, 2018, 09:44:41 am »
Can anyone point me to a small supply of Lycopodium spores and nets please. Project planned for S. Wales in August

Jopo

Offline mudman

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Re: Lycopodium Spores
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2018, 11:12:18 am »
Can anyone point me to a small supply of Lycopodium spores and nets please. Project planned for S. Wales in August

Jopo

In another thread Graigwen said this
Might be worth dropping him a message to find out more.

Offline Graigwen

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Re: Lycopodium Spores
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2018, 02:44:08 am »
Baldwins do sell them, but as a health food.

I don't write from experience, but would be very worried by the possibility of contamination if using Lycopodium spores for tracing. The spores have evolved to get everywhere and I would guess you need separate teams to deploy and recover them.

https://www.baldwins.co.uk/baldwins-lycopodium-club-moss-powder-lycopodium-clavatum

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Offline Jopo

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Re: Lycopodium Spores
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2018, 10:28:36 am »
Baldwins do sell them, but as a health food.

I don't write from experience, but would be very worried by the possibility of contamination if using Lycopodium spores for tracing. The spores have evolved to get everywhere and I would guess you need separate teams to deploy and recover them.

https://www.baldwins.co.uk/baldwins-lycopodium-club-moss-powder-lycopodium-clavatum

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I'm no expert but have seen spore testing done and helped collect the nets.

The spores used for dye testing can be dyed a variety of colours to differentiate them from those naturally occurring. 
It is a well tried and tested method where fine mesh nets are placed in strategic spots in or out of the cave or sink/resurgence under investigation. Lots has been written about lycopodium testing and one of the upsides is that you can use different colours to investigate different routes. On the downside the nets have to be collected at intervals if a through put is required and cross contamination has to be taken into account. And of course you need a good magnifier or microscope to check the nets.

Jopo

Offline JoW

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Re: Lycopodium Spores
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2018, 07:31:26 am »
From what I can recall from the last dye tracing workshop I attended I was under the impression that dyes are more commonly used now as they offer more reliable results - fluorescein, optical brightener and a red one who's name is temporarily eluding me.

Is there a particular reason to use lycopodium over dye?

Offline Minion

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Re: Lycopodium Spores
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2018, 08:05:28 am »
Rhodamine B?

Does anyone have a link to a guide on how to do it?

I’ve got a project i want to trace. I could simply tip the dye in the sink and stand and wait at where I *think* it may come out, but I’m sure there is a better way of doing it.


Offline JoW

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Re: Lycopodium Spores
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2018, 09:15:21 am »
Rhodamine B?

Does anyone have a link to a guide on how to do it?

I’ve got a project i want to trace. I could simply tip the dye in the sink and stand and wait at where I *think* it may come out, but I’m sure there is a better way of doing it.

Yes, that's the one.

How soon are you wanting to do this? I'm hoping to put on another dye tracing workshop with the bcra later in the year, but probably not until the late autumn now. I will be discussing it at the council meeting at the end of the month.

There are various things to know consider such as calculating how much dye to use (and if you need to notify the environment agency) and collection methods - usually activated charcoal or cotton wool but it depends on the type of dye.

Offline Minion

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Re: Lycopodium Spores
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2018, 10:36:58 am »
Rhodamine B?

Does anyone have a link to a guide on how to do it?

I’ve got a project i want to trace. I could simply tip the dye in the sink and stand and wait at where I *think* it may come out, but I’m sure there is a better way of doing it.

Yes, that's the one.

How soon are you wanting to do this? I'm hoping to put on another dye tracing workshop with the bcra later in the year, but probably not until the late autumn now. I will be discussing it at the council meeting at the end of the month.

There are various things to know consider such as calculating how much dye to use (and if you need to notify the environment agency) and collection methods - usually activated charcoal or cotton wool but it depends on the type of dye.

Id like to do it soon, but we need a bit of rainfall first I suppose? It’s the collection methods that really interest me.

Would be interested in the workshop, do you have a rough idea of where/when?

Offline mch

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Re: Lycopodium Spores
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2018, 11:24:51 am »
You need to be careful with Rhodamine B due to its association with cancer. Fluorescein is a better option if you are going for a dye. As far as I am aware, you don't just need to notify the Environment Agency, you need to get their consent. Optical brightening agent is probably a better option if you are not used to dealing with dyes or spores as you don't need EA consent and you can use ultraviolet light to detect it on cotton wool detectors.

Offline JoW

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Re: Lycopodium Spores
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2018, 07:29:32 am »


Id like to do it soon, but we need a bit of rainfall first I suppose? It’s the collection methods that really interest me.

Would be interested in the workshop, do you have a rough idea of where/when?

It will almost certainly be in the Peak District, I will see what dates we can come up with and let you know. But yes, I expect it needs to be a bit wetter to work anyway.

Offline Jopo

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Re: Lycopodium Spores
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2018, 10:39:51 am »
The main reason for using spores is that this will be a repeat of a positive test using optical brightener. The result was so surprising that cavers started muttering about the farm doing their weekly wash. The resurgence is not huge but runs continuously. The dig had a stream which was diverted and will have to be reinstated for the test or we could get a bowser and pump quite close.

I have been kindly donated dyed spores (via this forum) and only need to get them from 'up north' to S Wales. I can make the nets and frames.

Jopo

Offline Graigwen

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Re: Lycopodium Spores
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2018, 12:44:36 pm »
The main reason for using spores is that this will be a repeat of a positive test using optical brightener. The result was so surprising that cavers started muttering about the farm doing their weekly wash.

This is indeed a potential problem with optical brighteners. Last week I confirmed that one proposed test site took the farm washing machine output.

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Offline mch

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Re: Lycopodium Spores
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2018, 09:09:00 am »
The main reason for using spores is that this will be a repeat of a positive test using optical brightener. The result was so surprising that cavers started muttering about the farm doing their weekly wash.

This is indeed a potential problem with optical brighteners. Last week I confirmed that one proposed test site took the farm washing machine output.

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That's why it's important to put in a detector before undertaking the trace so that the background level of OBA can be determined. Most watercourses today have some degree of optical brightener as it is so ubiquitous.