Approved Site Use Requests (SURFs) — Main Cropping System Experiment (MCSE)

Data in the KBS LTER core database may not be published without written permission of the lead investigator or project director Full terms of use

Site Use Request Forms are filled out by investigators wishing to conduct sampling on LTER properties. When approved, the request is listed on the web.

This datatable is part of the Main Cropping System Experiment Field Logs and treatment descriptions dataset. This dataset includes information about the LTER main site treatments, agronomic practices carried out on the treatments and approved site use requests.

Most long-term hypotheses associated with the KBS LTER site are being tested within the context of the main cropping systems study. This study was established on a 48 ha area on which a series of 7 different cropping systems were established in spring 1988, each replicated in one of 6 ha blocks. An eighth never-tilled successional treatment, is located 200 m off-site, replicated as four 0.06 ha plots.

Cropping systems include the following treatments:

  • T1. Conventional: standard chemical input corn/soybean/wheat rotation conventionally tilled (corn/soybean prior to 1992)
  • T2. No-till: standard chemical input corn/soybean/wheat rotation no-tilled (corn/soybean prior to 1992)
  • T3. Reduced input: low chemical input corn/soybean/wheat rotation conventionally tilled (ridge till prior to 1994)
  • T4. Biologically based: zero chemical input corn/soybean wheat rotation conventionally tilled (ridge till prior to 1994)
  • T5. Poplar: Populus clones on short-rotation (6-7 year) harvest cycle
  • T6. Switchgrass (converted in 2018 from continuous alfalfa, replanted every 6-7 years)
  • T7. Early successional community: historically tilled soil
  • T8. Mown grassland community: never-tilled soil.

For specific crops in a given year see the Annual Crops Summary Table.

In 1993 a series of forest sites were added to the main cropping system study to provide long-term reference points and to allow hypotheses related to substrate diversity to be tested. These include:

  • TCF. Coniferous forest: three conifer plantations, 40-60 years old
  • TDF. Decidious forest: three deciduous forest stands, two old-growth and one 40-60 years post-cutting
  • TSF. Mid-successional forest: three old-field (mid-successional) sites 40+ years post-abandonment.

All share a soil series with the main cropping system treatments, and are within 5 km of all other sites.

For each system (and for a number of microplot treatments nested within the main treatment plots) the following baseline variates are being measured (described in greater detail in other data set descriptors):

  • plant characteristics, including species distributions and abundances, net aboveground productivity by functional group (crop vs. non dominant biomass, selected non dominant biomass), economic yields, tissue C and N contents, seed bank composition;
  • soil chemical and physical characteristics, including soil moisture, pH, inorganic N and P pools, total C, N, and P pools, bulk density;
  • soil biological characteristics, including microbial biomass C and N, N mineralization rates (buried bags), microbial populations, invertebrate populations; and
  • insect and pathogen dynamics, including distributions and abundances of major insect pests and predators and of Fusarium pathogens.


Experiment: Main Cropping System Experiment (MCSE)
Data available from: January 2002 to March 2013
Dataset: KBS004
Datatable ID: View_SiteUseRequests.100
Repository link:
Related Tables:
Last Updated 2020-07-10
Variate Description Units
principal investigator name of investigator posting the request
project title of project served by the proposed sampling effort
date submitted date the request was submitted

Data Excerpt

principal_investigator project date_submitted
Phil Robertson F. J. Pierce tillage study 2012-05-01
Phil Robertson Interaction Plots 2012-05-01
Steve Marquie Water balance and soil moisture monitoring 2012-07-09
Stuart Grandy, Erika Marin-Spiotta, Jennifer Pett-Ridge, Jeffrey Bird, Marshall McDaniel Multi-Scale Consequences of Rotational Diversity in Midwestern Agricultural Systems 2010-08-01
David Foran and Tom Schmidt Microbial Identification of Soils 2012-10-02
Kim Scribner and Jennifer Moore The importance of natural and anthropogenic features on deer forage use and movements: implications for disease spread and transmission to livestock 2012-01-01
Brian Maurer Effects of grazing on plant and avian community structure in an experimental grazing system 2012-05-01
Timothy Dickson and Katherine Gross Effects of Soil Fertility on Biodiversity-Productivity Relationship 2012-05-11
G.P. Robertson Soil Organic Matter Accumulation and Persistence in Sustainable Cropping Systems 2002-04-15
Stuart Gage Invertebrate Predators in the Agricultural Landscape 2002-04-24
Katherine Gross KBS LTER Treatment 7 Microplots - Plant and Soil Monitoring 2002-04-15
Katherine Gross KBS LTER Seedbank (KBS006) 2002-04-24
G.P. Robertson Nitrous Oxide Fluxes in Fertilized Coniferous and Deciduous Forests 2002-04-30
Chrles McKeown Response of the Coccinellid Predator Complex to the Soybean Aphid 2002-04-24
Thomas M. Schmidt Phylogeny to Function: Genomic Analyses of Dominant, Uncultured Soil Bacteria 2002-04-24
Karen Renner/R. Harwood Weed Seed Decay at the LTER Site 2002-04-30
Pongthep Suwanwaree Effects of Fertilizer and Tillage on Soil methane Oxidation in Agricultural Fields and Forests 2002-05-30
Richard G. Smith Crop rotation and cover crops: effects of increasing crop diversity on associated weed communities 2002-05-18
R. Greg Thorn Effects of tillage and successional state on diversity of soil Basidiomycetes 2002-05-15
G.P. Robertson Short-term changes in nutrient processes within soil aggregates following tillage. 2002-06-12
Doug A. Landis Do Predation and Host Plant Quality Interact to Regulate Soybean Aphid? 2003-03-12
Karen Renner Assessing weed seed decay by soil microorganisms 2003-03-25
Michael Brewer Endemic parasitoids: their adaptation to soybean aphid 2003-06-16
Terrance Loecke Influence of crop plant species and cropping history on soil N gas emissions. 2003-06-16
Nathaniel Ostrom Origins of Nitrous Oxide in Terrestrial Environments 2003-08-13
Lixin Jin Resident time measurement of fluids in Michigan soils 2004-03-04
Katherine L. Gross Successional dynamics in Old-fields: Plant community and ecosystem responses to long-term fertilization 2004-03-30
Alejandro C. Costamagna Does predation limit the exant population of soybean aphid parasitoids? 2004-05-12
Stuart H. Gage Monitoring Diversity of Bird, Amphibian and Insect Species in an Agricultural Landscape using Acoustics: Distributed Sensor and Cyber infrastructure Approach 2004-05-18
Robin Sutka Origins of Nitrous Oxide in Terrestrial Environments 2004-05-14
Michael Brewer Natural control of soybean aphid by parasitoids, predatory flies, and pathogenic fungi and their integration into soybean crop management 2004-05-26
Thomas M. Schmidt Cultivation and genomic-based approaches for exploring the microbial diversity at the KBS LTER. 2004-06-02
Stephen South Identification of Cropping Methods Utilizing Space Based Remotely Sensed Data Location and Spatial Extent 2002-05-15
Thomas M. Schmidt Annual variation in prokaryotic soil communities 2006-04-12
Branka Vranic Community structure of soil basidiomycetes as detected by collecting of fruiting bodies, culturing from soil, and cloning and sequencing PCR-amplified community ribosomal DNA 2005-11-04
James Humpula Seasonal Variation in Microbial Nitrous Oxide Production: Continuing Applications of Isotopes and Isotopomers 2007-05-09
George Bird Acoustical Signature Assessment for Land Policy Decision-Making: With Special Reference to Sustainable Agriculture and Soil Quality 2005-08-07
Lixin Jin Silicate weathering in carbonate-bearing glaciated mid-continental watersheds: A field and laboratory investigation 2005-09-06
Sarah Emery What are the effects of agricultural treatments on soil invertebrates? 2006-05-05
Stuart H. Gage Interpretation of Ecosystem Functions through Analysis of Acoustic Variables 2006-05-23
Courtney Gallaher Phosphorus availability in annual and perennial cereal legume systems 2005-03-28
Brook J. Wilke Effects of disturbance patterns on the co-limitation of nitrogen and water 2006-07-03
Matthew R. Opdyke Origins of Nitrous Oxide in Terrestrial Environments: Applications of Isotopes and Isotopomers 2006-03-27
Todd Robinson Impacts of Intra-annual precipitation variability on plant communities 2006-05-28
Jay T. Lennon Pulsed ecosystem activity: Responses of soil microorganisms to variable water supply 2006-12-05
Sasha Kravchenko How much carbon can be sequestered by organic-based cropping systems in Michigan soils? 2006-04-13
Katherine L. Gross LTER Biodiversity Experiment Annual Monitoring 2006-09-06
Anne Royer Differential animal-mediated reproduction of native and exotic plants 2006-06-13
Sasha Kravchenko Decomposition rate of soil organic matter in soils of genetically modified corn from short-term incubation 2006-06-27
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