The Desert Research Institute is trying to find out how wildfire changes the landscape...on the elemental level.
We know a big fire can change the species of plants that grow in an area.
Now scientists from D-R-I are examining how plants and microorganisms in the soil handle moisture and carbon dioxide exchanges.
They're using big dome tents where the Reservoir Fire burned between Golden and Lemmon Valleys five years ago.
Inside the tents, an infrared gas analyzer performs tests.
Researchers hope this work will eventually help land managers rebuild healthy plant life after wildfires.