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The Park Grass Experiment 1856 - 2006: Its Contribution to Ecology

Silvertown, Jonathan; Poulton, Paul; Johnston, Edward; Edwards, Grant; Heard, Matthew and Biss, Pamela M. (2006). The Park Grass Experiment 1856 - 2006: Its Contribution to Ecology. Journal of Ecology, 94(4) pp. 801–814.

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From the summary: The Park Grass Experiment, begun in 1856, is the oldest ecological experiment in existence. Its value to science has changed and grown since it was founded to answer agricultural questions. In recent times the experiment has shown inter alia how: plant species richness, biomass and pH are related; community composition responds to climatic perturbation and nutrient additions; soil is acidified and corrected by liming. It also provided one of the first demonstrations of the evolution of adaptation at a very local scale and contains a putative case of the evolution of reproductive isolation by reinforcement. The application of molecular genetic markers to archived plant material promises to reveal a whole new chapter of genetic detail about the long-term dynamics of plant populations.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 0022-0477
Extra Information: Visit the author's home page at
Keywords: long-term experiment; permanent grassland; biodiversity; plant population dynamics, natural selection, plant nutrition, soil fertility, stability, ecological genetics
Academic Unit/Department: Science > Environment, Earth and Ecosystems
Science > Life, Health and Chemical Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 2294
Depositing User: Jonathan Silvertown
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2016 15:47
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