University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
College of Biological Sciences
http://www.cbs.umn.edu/

Experiment 001

Long-Term Nitrogen Deposition: Effects on Plant Diversity, Composition, Productivity, Stability & Monitoring

 

The purpose of this experiment is to measure how adding nitrogen over a long time will affect the number of species, the type of species present, the amount of annual growth, and the change from year to year in the growth of each species in a plant community which is also relieved of grazing by large and small mammals. The experiment is being conducted within fields (A, B, C, and D) which were initially low in soil nutrients. There are 8 different levels of nitrogen addition with other nutrients added to ensure that nitrogen remains the limiting nutrient, and a control which receives no nutrients. There are 6 replicates of the 9 treatments in fields A, B, and C and 5 replicates in field D. The treatments were randomly assigned to the plots. In fields A, B, and C the plots are in 6 by 9 grids and are 4 by 4 meters in size with 1 meter aisles between plots. In field D the plots are 1.5 by 4 meters and are placed in a 3 by 17 grid. The plots are enclosed by a fence to keep out mammalian herbivores. Gophers are trapped and removed as they appear. Nitrogenfertilizer (NH4NO3) is applied twice per year, once in early May and once in late June. This experiment was begun in 1982 by David Tilman.