New webpage published: a new page is now available on the ECT website for the Thursley Common long-term nitrogen deposition/land management experiment on Natural England’s NNR in Surrey. Follow the link above for new detail on the history, impacts and future potential of this valuable LTE research site, started in 1989.
Upcoming ECT webinar: ECT’s fifth webinar is coming up on 2 December, featuring guest speakers Simon Caporn and Chris Field from Manchester Metropolitan University on the long-term field experiments at Little Budworth Common and Ruabon Moor. For further details and joining instructions, register via our webinars page here.
New ECT podcast from Ainsdale Dunes: our latest podcast interview is now available here, featuring Jon Millett (pictured, Loughborough University) bringing to life the Ainsdale Dune Slacks long-term grazing experiment that has been running for 45 years.
North Wyke’s Farm Platform LTE Joins ECT Network: ECT has registered the Farm Platform long-term experiment at Rothamsted Research’s North Wyke site in its national network of active LTEs. The experiment is led by North Wyke researcher Jane Hawkins and the site is owned by the BBSRC. Read more about all the sites in our network here.
New webpage published: following the addition of the Rowden Plots long-term drainage facility at North Wyke in Devon to ECT’s register, a new webpage is now available for the experiment here. Access the new page for the site background and history, together with an up-to-date publications list and contact information.
New publications: two new publications have emerged from the Peatland-ES-UK long-term cutting/burning experiment on upland blanket bogs in North Yorkshire and Lancashire. Access the publications link on our Peatland-ES-UK webpage.
New Maintenance Grant Award: ECT is pleased to announce the award of a maintenance grant to PI Mariecia Fraser at IBERS-Aberystwyth, who manages the Brignant Plots LTE at Pwllpeiran in mid-Wales. Mariecia will be using ECT funds for renovation of plot fencing, the site weather station and the network of microclimate sensors. If you are interested in using Brignant LTE as a research platform, please view our webpage here.
Newsletter: ECT’s September newsletter is now published and available to download here. This issue headlines with the addition of a further experiment to ECT’s register - the Rowden Plots at North Wyke in Devon - and our latest science communication venture into the world of ‘virtual reality ecology’!
New publication: the latest journal paper from the Brignant Plots LTE at Pwllpeiran in mid-Wales has just been published by PI Mariecia Fraser in Nature Scientific Reports. The paper looks at the impacts of upland grassland management on arthropod dynamics and is available here.
New publication: following ECT-funded work on dung fungi as proxy indicators of grazing pressure in peatlands, Althea Davies from the University of St Andrews has published a paper in Review of Palaeobotany & Palynology. The paper is available free-of-charge for the next 50 days here. Althea used ECT’s grant for the component of the work conducted at the Moor House LTE in Upper Teesdale.
North Wyke’s Rowden Plots LTE Joins ECT Network: ECT has registered the Rowden long-term draining/grazing experiment at Rothamsted Research’s North Wyke site in its national network of active LTEs. The experiment is led by North Wyke researcher Martin Blackwell and the site is owned by the BBSRC. Read more about all the sites in our network here.
Newsletter: ECT’s June newsletter is now published and headlines with two ‘new’ experiments added to our national register of sites. There is also a significant update on the Glen Finglas LTE, news on appointments to our Board of Trustees, and a piece on the highlights from our first national two-day science meeting in Buxton. Download the newsletter here.
Small Grant Award: ECT is pleased to announce the award of a small grant to Jon Millett at Loughborough University. Our funds will be used towards the costs of installing dipwells and associated water table depth loggers at each of the four dune slacks comprising the Ainsdale Dune Slacks long-term experiment in West Lancashire. The data generated, alongside existing data, will enable the reconstruction of a 45-year time-series of water table depth.
New Publication: from the Glen Finglas long-term grazing experiment, northwest of Stirling in Scotland - Long‐term impacts of changed grazing regimes on the vegetation of heterogeneous upland grasslands. Access the publication online here.
Small Grant Award: ECT is pleased to announce the award of its latest small grant to Ramesh Ningthoujam at Imperial College Silwood Park. Ramesh will be working with Colin Prentice on quantifying grass chlorophyll content (CC), leaf area index (LAI) and productivity relationships at the Nash’s Field long-term experiment. The work is aiming to produce maps of spatial and temporal variations in CC and LAI in response to treatments via vegetation indices.
New ECT Trustees Appointed: three new Trustees have been appointed to ECT’s Board with effect from 1 June 2019. We welcome Bridget Emmett (CEH Bangor), Kadmiel Maseyk (Open University) and Chas Holt (consultant ecologist) to our team. View the full Board membership on our ‘About’ page. We also pay tribute to founding Trustee Mike Morecroft who is stepping down after ten years’ loyal service to pursue a new role in climate change with the IPCC.
Ainsdale Dune Slacks LTE Joins ECT Network: ECT has registered the Ainsdale Dunes long-term herbivore grazing experiment in its network of active research sites. Also known as the Sally Edmondson plots, the site is managed by Loughborough ecologist Jonathan Millett and owned by Natural England as part of its Ainsdale Dunes National Nature Reserve (NNR).
BIFOR-FACE LTE Joins ECT Network: ECT has registered the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research’s (BIFOR) Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE) long-term experiment in its network of active research sites. Managed by PI Rob Mackenzie, BIFOR-FACE is only the second such facility globally, and the only one in the northern hemisphere. Read more here.
Newsletter: ECT’s March newsletter is now published and headlines with our new YouTube channel and the launch of our two-monthly webinars. It also highlights our upcoming Buxton conference (register here), news from our RainDrop LTE and review of our very successful 10th anniversary activities. Download it here.
New blog post: ECT Ten Years On, by Jonathan Silvertown. Read Jonathan’s review of where ECT came from and what we have achieved in our first ten years. Access our blog page here.
Call for New ECT Trustees! ECT is recruiting new trustees to supplement its existing Board of eight voluntary members. View our recruitment advert and person specification. Full application packs are available on request from ECT’s Executive Director. The closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 29 March 2019.
ECT’s ‘Main Event’ for 2019 - REGISTRATION NOW OPEN
ECT is launching its first annual national conference on LTEs this year, in partnership with BES’s Plants-Soils-Ecosystems SIG. The two-day conference is titled Long-term Ecological Experiments in Plant-Soil Ecosystems and will take place on 21/22 May 2019 at the superb Pavilion Gardens in Buxton, Derbyshire. Registration now open at the link above. Further details available here.
New video: a full video recording of ECT’s thematic session at the BES2018 conference in Birmingham is now available free via our videos webpage. The recording features all our speakers and the ensuing interactive discussion.
Maintenance Grant Award: ECT is pleased to announce the award of a maintenance grant to PI Andreas Heinemeyer at the University of York, who works on the Peatland-ES-UK LTE in north-west England. Andreas will be using ECT funds to replace and upgrade ageing rhizon water samplers across the experiment’s three sites in North Yorkshire and Lancashire. If you are interested in using these sites as research platforms, please view our Peatland-ES-UK webpage.
Newsletter: ECT’s December newsletter is now published and headlines with the latest new pages on our website and an update on the Peatland-ES-UK LTE. It also highlights our on-going 10th anniversary activities, plans for our 2019 meeting, and our small grants scheme. Download it here.
Speaker Programme: ECT’s tenth anniversary celebration session at this month’s BES2018 conference in Birmingham takes place on Tuesday 18 December in Hall 1 from 3pm to 5.15pm. Download the speaker programme here.
ECT TENTH ANNIVERSARY PUBLICATION: to help celebrate ECT’s tenth anniversary, the BES family of journals has published a cross-journal Virtual Issue on Long-term ecological experiments forever! - Unique challenges and opportunities. Edited by Emma Sayer and ECT Trustee Jonathan Silvertown, the issue is now available on-line here.
New Publication: prescribed moorland burning may not be as damaging as previously thought. See latest publication in Nature Geoscience by Rob Marrs et al on research at Hard Hill long-term experiment on the Moor House NNR in Upper Teesdale. An associated press release from the University of Liverpool is available here.
Small Grant Award: ECT is pleased to announce the award of its latest small grant to Luke Andrews at the University of York. Luke will be using the Cors Fochno LTE for his PhD-related work studying the effect of climate change on carbon sequestration in peatlands. If you are interested in using Cors Fochno as a research platform, read more via our dedicated webpage.
Newsletter: ECT’s September newsletter headlines with new webpages for three of our LTEs, plus a reminder on our tenth anniversary event at BES2018 in December. There are updates from two of our LTEs and a case study on using LTEs as research platforms. Download it here.
Dataset Publication: Rose et al have published the vegetation monitoring dataset for the Hard Hill burning/grazing LTE at Moor House in Upper Teesdale via NERC's Environmental Information Data Centre (EIDC), covering the period 1961 to 2013. Access the data here.
Newsletter: Our June newsletter highlights our tenth anniversary celebration and the addition of a new LTE to our register. There are quick round-ups from three of the UK's long-term ecological experiments. Download it here.
Publication: Perryman et al have recently published an important paper on data curation from the Rothamsted long-term experiments, including Park Grass and Broadbalk. The electronic Research Archive (e-RA) is a model for online data curation from LTEs. See Nature Science Data 15 May 2018
Publication: Researchers in the US have just published work in the journal Science that shows even the best-supported short-term drivers of plant response to global change might not predict long-term results. The authors report an unexpected reversal of biomass in C3 versus C4 grasses in response to elevated CO2 during a 20-year field experiment. See: Science 20 April 2018
Grants: The Lena Ward plots on Aston Rowant Nature were awarded a grant of £2000 to facilitate the upgrade of fencing around plots. Jessica Bays, the former ECT Engagement Officer joined volunteers on site. Read her blog here.
Win £100: To coincide with attending the BES Annual Meeting, we are hosting a PhD student and Early Career Researcher competition. Sponsored by Global Change Biology and Oxford University Press, top prize is £100. Find out more here...
Publication: An article has been published recently in 'Advances in Ecological Research' highlighting the contribution of the Rothamsted's Long-term Experiments (LTEs), Sample Archive and Insect Survey to ecological research. It concludes that the LTEs, Sample Archive and insect collection continue to be as valuable today as when they originally began.
News: A recent article on the BBC Science & Environment webpages focused Rothamsted Research's commitment to making complex data from long-term experiments accessible and useable. Rothamsted is a member of the GODAN Initiative, and works to help promote the sharing of open data, making information about agriculture and nutrition freely available.
Publication: A Special Issue of the journal Ecological Indicators, was issued to celebrate 20 years of of detailed site-based monitoring and showcasing a range of research using Environmental Change Network data and sites.
Paper: 'Longer growing seasons shift grassland vegetation towards more-productive species'. Fridley et al., 2016. Nature Climate Change. Analysis of 21 plant species coexisting on BCCIL plots, reveals a strong association between functional traits and temperature regime. Click here to read Syracuse University's blog post on the article.
Paper: 'Ecological restoration: Soil microbes call the shots'. Marrs (2016). Nature Plants. Letter looking at the use of soil microbes in ecological restoration, and how they can help ‘design’ new target communities more subtly.
Floodplain Meadow Partnership conducted their regular fritillary count and survey of the water-management trial plots at North Meadow, Cricklade in Spring. Monitoring is going strong and now in its 18th year the fritillary count attracted over thirty volunteers and was showcased by BBC1's Countryfile programme.
Paper: 'Phenological sensitivity to climate across taxa and trophic levels.' Thackeray et al., (2016). Nature. Analysis of 10,003 long-term phenological data sets, including data from the Rothamsted Insect Survey, reveals that secondary consumers have consistently lower climate sensitivity than other groups.
Paper: 'Long-term changes in the tree and shrub layers of a British nature reserve and their relevance for woodland conservation management'. Kirby et al., (2016). Journal for Nature Conservation, 31, 51-60. Click here for further information.
Event: To celebrate Park Grass turning 160, Rothamsted Research invites you to ‘160 years of Park Grass'. This free public event takes place on Tuesday 17th May, 5.30pm to 8.00pm. Click here to find out more.
How to strengthen links between research and farming: Rothamsted Research North Wyke and Duchy College Rural Business School hosted their first Advisory Group Meeting in February, with key representatives from the research and farming communities.
Blog post: 50 years of change in the Sheffield region, by Dr Carly Stevens.
In 1965 an extensive survey of vegetation was carried out in and around the Peak District National Park. Although the majority of people won’t know anything about it... Read more...
Paper: Grassland biodiversity bounces back from long-term nitrogen addition. J. Storkey et al., (2015). Nature 528, 401–404.
The negative effect of increasing atmospheric nitrogen (N) pollution on grassland biodiversity is now incontrovertible. However, the recent introduction of cleaner technologies in the UK has... Read on...