BangorDIVERSE, established in March 2004, is a forest diversity experimental infrastructure at the Henfaes Research Centre of Bangor University. The experiment aims to explore the relationship between tree diversity and forest ecological functioning and sustainability. The planted species represent a range of taxonomic, physiological and ecological types and were selected because of their contrasting shade tolerance and successional chronology.
|Satellite view of the BangorDIVERSE experiment|
Plots were established across two fields in four replicated blocks of monocultures, two- and three-species mixtures. A replacement series design (with inter-tree spacing constant between treatments) was selected because of the experiment's objective of being realistic in reflecting the practical establishment of forests consisting of monocultures or mixtures of canopy tree species. Saplings (60 cm) of each species were planted with an inter-tree spacing of 1 m (10 000 stems ha-1). A systematic hexagonal planting design, i.e., each tree having six equidistant neighbours, was used to maximise the mixing effect. In the three-species mixture blocks, the nearest neighbours of each tree were two conspecific individuals and two individuals of each of the other two species.
|Hexagonal planting design for a three-species mixture|
|former land use||pasture, followed by small-scale forestry experiments for the last 20 years (field 1) and cultivation of oilseed rape in 2003 (field 2)|
|soil type||fine loamy brown earth over gravel (Rheidol series), classified as Fluventic Dystrochrept|
|no of plots||92|
|no of trees planted||22 000|
|planting date||March 2004|
|diversity variables||species richness
|diversity gradient||1, 2, 3 sp.|
|size species pool||7|
|species pool||Acer pseudoplatanus, Alnus glutinosa, Betula pendula, Castanea sativa, Fagus sylvatica, Fraxinus excelsior, Quercus robur|
|contact person||Andy Smith|
We intend to explore tree-soil interactions, specifically: tree growth and form, plant-water relations and soil hydrology, nutrient cycling, C pools, fluxes and sequestration, and the structure and abundance of the microbial community (symbiotic and pathogenic).
For more information on the BangorDIVERSE experiment, send an e-mail to the contact person, or explore the publications:
|Oak-birch plot and beech-birch plot (May 2013)|