The Cellulosic Biofuels Diversity Experiment is a long-term study to examine the impact of plant diversity on ecosystem services from biofuel production systems. It consists of 11 different cropping systems that vary in species makeup and nitrogen input. Treatment plots are 9.1 x 27.4 m (30 x 90 feet) and replicated in each of 4 randomized blocks. Treatments include bare soil, two grain-based systems (for comparison) of corn-soybean rotations and nine cellulosic-based systems: two varieties of switchgrass—each with and without N fertilizer, a C3 – C4 grass mix, and four prairie restoration mixes with 6, 10, 18, or 30 different species native to Michigan. Switchgrass varieties are Cave-in rock (commercial non-native) and Southlow (commercial native). Prairie grasses include switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans), Canada wild rye (Elymus canadensis) and prairie June grass (Koeleria cristata). See the plot map for treatment codes and descriptions.
The experiment was established at the LTER Main Site in 2008. In 2016, continuous corn (CE1) was replaced with a bare soil treatment.