Long-term ecological research at Kellogg Biological Station

Local identifier
Main site
Years operational
1989—
Objective
Initiated to test the ability of biology to substitute for chemical inputs while supporting high crop yields, and quantity slow and dynamic processes such as soil carbon, biodiversity and greenhouse gases associated with agricultural row crop systems
Description
Established in 1989, the main site LTER evaluates four management systems conventional, no-till, low-input and biological (organic) of a three year crop rotation of soybean, wheat and maize. The two biological systems (low input and organic) rely on cover crops for nitrogen fixation, soil building and pest regulation services, not on manure transfers.
Farm operation data?
Sample archive?
Samples available?
 
Data Access Statement
Available online with registration
Data Access Notes
freely available online but account registration required first
Data license
No data license
Data policy
https://lter.kbs.msu.edu/data/terms-of-use/
Organizations
Michigan State University
research organisation
Kellogg Biological Station
experimental research station
People
Prof Phil Robertson
principal investigator
Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University
Department of Plant, Soil & Microbial Sciences
Sven Bohm
data manager
Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University
Prof Sieglinde Snaap
principal investigator
Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University
Department of Plant, Soil & Microbial Sciences

Site: LTER-KBS

Type
research station field
Local code
Main site
Location
Hickory Corners
Michigan
USA
Geographic location
42.4093751, -85.3733892
© OpenStreetMap contributors
Elevation
288 Metres
Visits permitted?
No
History
Site description at https://lter.kbs.msu.edu/research/site-description-and-maps/general-description/
Soil type
fluvisol
Soil description
Soils in the area developed on glacial till, and include well- and poorly-drained (USDA system) alfisols, mollisols, and entisols
Climatic type
warm humid continental climate
Climate properties
VariableTime periodValue (range)Units
air temperature10.1 degree Celsius
precipitation1000 millimeter

Design period: Main period (1989—)

Design Type
Randomized complete block design
Description
Soil, herbage and grain samples are collected and retained each year additional site description at https://lter.kbs.msu.edu/research/long-term-experiments/main-cropping-system-experiment/
Design description
The four main management system treatments with a three year rotation (one crop phase per year) of soybean, wheat and corn is within a matrix of three other treatments: Continuous lucerne (alfalfa), continuous popular trees, a conversion to early successional old field weedy site for a total of 7 treatments * 6 reps = 42 plots. Monitoring of sites within nearby forests is also carried out in conjunction as reference sites. Plots are 100 x 100 m
Number of plots
42
Number of replicates
6
Number of harvests per year
1
Crops
CropYears grown
maize
soybeans
wheat
lucerne
poplar trees
successional plots
Crop Rotation
Unnamed
  • 1
    soybeans
  • 2
    wheat
  • 3
    maize
Factor
tillage process
Plot application: Whole plot
conventional tillage
Inputs and tillage typical of USA Upper Midwest
no-till
zero tillage plus inputs as in conventional
low input
One-third less nitrogen fertilizer + cover crops
organic
no chemical inputs, cover crops
Measurements
VariableMaterialUnitsFrequencyScaleComment
grain yield traitAll cropsannual
plant quality traitsAll cropsoccasionally
weed abundanceNot specifiedannual
weed species richnessNot specifiedannual
soil total carbonSoiloccasionally