Rothamsted - United Kingdom
Broadleaved deciduous woodland
soil bulk density
UK ECN site (T06 ROT) is funded through the Rothamsted Long-Term Experiments National Capability (LTE-NCG). Rothamsted is located about 35 km North of London, UK (51° 48’ 34.44” N, 0° 21’ 22.76” W) in the county of Hertfordshire. It covers about 330 ha, all of which is included within the Rothamsted ECN site. The estate contains several ecosystems, including managed arable and grassland fields, naturally regenerated and ancient woodland, the river Ver and more recently energy crops e.g. short rotation coppice willow and miscanthus grass. It is a rural area within an urban landscape, surrounded by the town of Harpenden to three sides and the village of Redbourn on the south-west side. The larger conurbations of Luton, St. Albans and Hemel Hempstead, together with the M1 motorway and London Luton Airport, are within an eight mile radius. The Park Grass Hay Experiment (est. 1856) is the principal target sample site (TSS) for the majority of the ECN protocols at Rothamsted. This experiment is widely acknowledged to be the oldest continuing agro-ecological experiment in the world; it is recognised internationally as an important site for long-term studies on biodiversity and ecology. The experimental plot on Park Grass of most interest to the ECN, in relation to physical and atmospheric inputs is Plot 3, Section d (Plot 3d). This plot receives no inorganic or organic inputs apart from atmospheric deposition.
General Characteristics, Purpose, History
Rothamsted Research was founded as a centre for agricultural research in 1843, to investigate the effects of mineral fertilisers and organic manures on crop production and soil fertility. Some of the initial experiments on cereals (Broadbalk Continuous Wheat Experiment, est. 1843) and grass (Park Grass Hay Experiment, est. 1856) continue today, albeit in modified forms to ensure they remain relevant to current agricultural issues. These experiments and several others, together with archived samples and data, comprise the Rothamsted Long-Term Experiments National Capability (LTE-NC). Agro-ecological research at Rothamsted continues today, including work on: a) Enhancing cereal crop production, to meet the ever increasing demand for food in a changing climate. b) The use of bio-energy crops as an alternative to fossil fuels, to help reducing carbon emissions. c) New methods for pest and disease control. d) The effects of environmental change on biodiversity (ECN Rothamsted). e) Developing sustainable methods of food production.
Rothamsted is home to the oldest continuous agricultural field experiments in existence. These 'Classical Experiments', started between 1843 and 1856, include some areas of abandon land (wilderness sites). They have been used by successive generations of scientists and continue to form a unique resource for studying the effects of changes in management and the environment on agricultural systems. Rothamsted joined the UK ECN at its inception in 1992.
Affiliation and Network Specific Information