Blocks '93 Experiment


INITIAL COLLABORATORS: J. Doland Nichols, Martha E. Rosemeyer, James Kettler

All the experiments on the farm are of randomized block design, but no other experiment is as large as this one in terms of area and number of treatments. The goal of this, our first long term experiment is to test various methods for facilitating the establishment of a native timber tree in degraded pasture.  The ultimate goals are to re-establish vegetative cover that reduces erosion, regenerate ecosystem functioning, return the land to productivity, and create a plant community more amenable to wildlife.

Below is a map of the farm showing streams in the northern sector, springs and a marshy area in the extreme south, and a ridge that separates south and north sectors.  In 1993, we fenced the south sector from cows and established five large blocks with nine plots each for our large "Blocks 93" experiment. The terrain forms a large amphitheater and the blocks differ in steepness. Blocks 1 and 2 are extremely steep, to 45 degrees. Block 3 is flat land at the foot of Blocks 1 and 2, probably consisting largely of erosional alluvium from those slopes. Block 4 consists of gentle hills rolling from the high terrain at the ridge to the lowest level of the farm near the southernmost end. Block 5 is at the foot of the hills of Block 4 and although fairly flat, was originally deeply eroded with cattle trails.

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