Terrestrial Facilities

photo of agroecosystem plots at the ERCAgroecosystem Plots

The agroecosystem area includes 12 replicate plots, each approximately 0.4 hectare in size, in addition to several other larger fields. These plots typically planted with corn or soybeans in accordance with current research projects. The ERC manager is in charge of planting and harvesting the crops and the money from crop sales is used to maintain agricultural equipment and purchase seeds, herbicide and fertilizer for succeeding years.

photo of prairie at the ERCPrairie

A 1-hectare prairie was established in 1974 with regional genotypes of prairie plants, primarily big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii Vitman). Management techniques that have been used to restore this extraordinary prairie include burning treatments, routine mowing, and application of herbicides. The effectiveness of these techniques has been a focus of a comparative restoration study at the ERC.

photo of small mammal enclosure at the ERCSmall Mammal Enclosures

An array of 0.1-hectare terrestrial enclosures at the ERC is primarily used for research on small mammal behavior and population ecology. These 16 enclosures are used to study the social behavior, population structure and life history of various species of rodents, primarily voles (Microtus spp).

photo of field and forest at the ERCOther Terrestrial Facilities

The ERC also has numerous fields and some forested areas that are available for research. Projects have manipulated patch size to explore the effects on insect diversity and dispersal, light input on terrestrial stages of amphibians, herbicide effects on spider emigration, cold tolerance in amphibians and reptiles, and explored the role of biodiversity on carbon sequestration.