Article featuring KBS research wins outstanding paper award

Christine Sprunger, member of the KBS LTER Executive Committee, is lead author on the award-winning paper.

A paper that examines best practices for improving soil health over time has been recognized as outstanding by the American Society of Agronomy, or ASA.

The paper, spearheaded by W.K. Kellogg Biological Station resident faculty and MSU assistant professor Christine Sprunger, detailed research that was conducted at the KBS Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center site. Tvisha Martin and Meredith Mann also contributed to the paper, titled “Systems with greater perenniality and crop diversity enhance soil biological health,” which was originally published in 2020 in the journal Agricultural and Environmental Letters.

In the study, the team measured soil health across the Biofuel Cropping Systems Experiment located at KBS. Established in 2008, the Experiment consists of 10 systems increasing in diversity and perenniality, including four no-till annual crops, two monoculture perennials, and four polyculture perennials. The study found that nine years post-establishment, crop diversity enhanced soil health in both annual and perennial systems. Most notably, perenniality combined with crop diversity was most effective at enhancing both labile and processed pools of soil carbon.

About the award

Sprunger, Martin and Mann’s paper won the 2022 Agricultural & Environmental Letters Award.

The ASA recognizes an outstanding group of authors, editors, and peer reviewers with annual awards. The articles selected for journal outstanding paper awards undergo a selection process based on evaluation of how the article has advanced knowledge in the profession, the effectiveness of communication, methodology, originality, and impact.

This article was modified from the original, written by Cara Barnes and posted by the Kellogg Biological Station.