Long-term Ecology Trial, Lincoln University

To investigate and quantify the long-term impacts of nutrient input withdrawal and plant biomass management on soil organic matter and nutrient dynamics
The trial is used for undergraduate teaching and practical research
Data Access Statement
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Data license
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Data policy
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Lincoln University
research organisation
Prof. Leo Condron
principal investigator
Lincoln University
Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Site: Field site

research station field
Lincoln University
New Zealand
Geographic location
-43.6475, 172.468056
© OpenStreetMap contributors
15 Metres
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The trial site had previously been managed under arable cropping with regular inputs of mineral fertiliser (including P) and the soil P fertility status at establishment was relatively high (Olsen P = 28 mg kg−1 for 0–7.5 cm soil) for lowland agricultural soils in New Zealand.
Soil description
Wakanui silt loam soil (Mottled Immature Pallic [NZ]; Udic Ustochrept [USDA])
Soil properties
VariableDepthValue (range)UnitsRef yearEstimated?Baseline?
plant available phosphorous0 – 7.5 Centimetres28 milligram per kilogram
soil pH0 – 7.5 Centimetres5.3 2019
plant available phosphorous0 – 7.5 Centimetres (13 – 42) milligram per kilogram2019
Climatic type
temperate oceanic climate
Climate properties
VariableTime periodValue (range)Units
precipitation620 millimeter
air temperature12 (6 – 17) degree Celsius

Design period: (1994—)

Design Type
Randomized complete block design
The site was cultivated and sown with a mixture of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), white clover (Trifolium repens L.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), and cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata L). Plots measured 5 x 5 m
Number of plots
Number of replicates
CropYears grown
Factor name
Factor levels
nitrogen fertilizer exposure
Plot application: Whole plot
control exposure
nitrogen  (50 kgN/ha)
Application frequency: annually in spring
crop residue management process
Mowed plots are cut to 4 cm when the sward height reaches approximately 20 cm. Plots are 5-7 times per year.
Plot application: Whole plot
mowed, clippings removed
mowed, clippings retained
not mowed

Related publications

  • Boitt, G., Black, A., Wakelin, S.A. et al. Impacts of long-term plant biomass management on soil phosphorous under temperate grass land. Plant Soil (2018) 427: 163.
  • Boitt, G., Simpson, Z.P., Tian, J. et al. Plant biomass management impacts on short-term soil phosphorus dynamics in a temperate grassland. Biol Fertil Soils (2018) 54: 397.