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    The Agrodiversity Experiment: three years of data from a multisite study in intensively managed grasslands

    Kirwan, Laura and Connolly, John and Brophy, Caroline and Baadshaug, Ole and Bellanger, Gilles and Black, Alistair and Carnus, Tim and Collins, Rosemary and Cop, Jure and Delgado, Ignacio and de Vliegher, Alex and Elgersma, Anjo and Frankowlindberg, Bodil and Golinski, Piotr and Grieu, Philippe and Gustavsson, Anne-Maj and Helgadottir, Aslaug and Hoglind, Mats and Huguenin-Elie, Olivier and Jorgensen, Marit and Kadziuliene, Zydre and Lunnan, Tor and Luscher, Andreas and Kurki, Paivi and Porqueddu, Claudio and Sebastia, M.-Teresa and Thumm, Ulrich and Walmsley, David and Finn, John (2014) The Agrodiversity Experiment: three years of data from a multisite study in intensively managed grasslands. Ecology, 95 (9). p. 2680. ISSN 0012-9658

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    Intensively managed grasslands are globally prominent ecosystems. We investigated whether experimental increases in plant diversity in intensively managed grassland communities can increase their resource use efficiency. This work consisted of a coordinated, continental-scale 33-site experiment. The core design was 30 plots, representing 15 grassland communities at two seeding densities. The 15 communities comprised four monocultures (two grasses and two legumes) and 11 four-species mixtures that varied in the relative abundance of the four species at sowing. There were 1028 plots in the core experiment, with another 572 plots sown for additional treatments. Sites followed a protocol and employed the same experimental methods with certain plot management factors, such as seeding rates and number of cuts, determined by local practice. The four species used at a site depended on geographical location, but the species were chosen according to four functional traits: a fast-establishing grass, a slow-establishing persistent grass, a fast-establishing legume, and a slow-establishing persistent legume. As the objective was to maximize yield for intensive grassland production, the species chosen were all highyielding agronomic species. The data set contains species-specific biomass measurements (yield per species and of weeds) for all harvests for up to four years at 33 sites. Samples of harvested vegetation were also analyzed for forage quality at 26 sites. These data should be of interest to ecologists studying relationships between diversity and ecosystem function and to agronomists interested in sustainable intensification. The large spatial scale of the sites provides opportunity for analyses across spatial (and temporal) scales. The database can also complement existing databases and meta-analyses on biodiversity– ecosystem function relationships in natural communities by focusing on those same relationships within intensively managed agricultural grasslands.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Copyright by the Ecological Society of America
    Keywords: agricultural grasslands; biodiversity; ecosystem function; forage quality; mixtures; monocultures; overyielding; plant community; species biomass; yield;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Mathematics and Statistics
    Item ID: 5968
    Depositing User: Dr. Caroline Brophy
    Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2015 15:34
    Journal or Publication Title: Ecology
    Publisher: Ecological Society of America
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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