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University of Minnesota
College of Biological Sciences

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Methods for Experiment 291 -

Experiment Design

Design: Species. FAB 2 includes the same 12 species as FAB 1: Acer negundo Acer rubrum* Betula papyrifera* Juniperus virginiana Pinus banksiana Pinus resinosa Pinus strobus Quercus alba Quercus ellipsoidalis* Quercus macrocarpa* Quercus rubra* Tilia americana *Seeds collection and nursery planting has been designed to keep track of maternal family. Diversity treatments.

Species RichnessPlot typeRepetitions
2species mixtures46
4species mixtures46
6species mixtures10
12species mixtures10

148 plots 10m x10m were planted to include Monoculture ecosystems to test species specific effects. In addition, there are 36 20m x 20 m plots randomly dispersed in the matrix of smaller plots. These include three replicated monocultures of each of the twelve species. In addition, five 20 x 20 m plots will include all of the 12 species. These plots are also randomly dispersed in the matrix, and each species was randomly planted within a plot. Spacing. Seedlings were planted 1 m apart without rows between plots. The experiment has some spacing around and between blocks to allow for irrigation pipe and access roads. A detailed image and map below depict the site design. Site Preparation. Site preparation was completed in 2015. Preparation included burning the area, cutting and removing existing trees, stump grinding, tilling entire field with a rototiller, spraying Glyphosate, building an 8 foot tall deer fence, installing 6 inch aluminum irrigation pipe, installing a high pressure well with electronic control board, purchasing two Kifco T200 water reel irrigation units, and building bridges over a stream and irrigation pipes. Tree Planting. The majority of tree planting took place over a two year period to ensure trees were planted during great conditions, and reduce the risk of unforeseen negative environmental conditions (eg. a drought). Planting of the small plot diversity treatment (10 x 10 m plots), which included the planting of maternal lines, took place in April 18th to May 13th 2016. The large plots (20 x 20 m) were planted in April 14th to May 5th 2017. Replanting of dead seedling is expected to take place from 2018 to 2021. Seedlings will be established for a long-term experiment of indefinite length. Seedling origin. All seedlings planted in the FAB2 experiment had original seed sources from upper Midwestern states, (MN, ND, MI, and IA). The seeds of Quarcus rubra that were used to propagate seedlings of known maternal lines were collected from Sandstone, MN. All other seeds collected for the known maternal line part of the experiment were collected at Cedar Creek. The known maternal line seeds were sent to PRT Dryden in Dryden, Canada in 2015, and were send back to Cedar Creek in spring 2016 as plug seedlings. All non-maternal trees were planted as bareroot and purchased from public or private nurseries.

agbe291 - Sapling Census

Sapling Census Protocol


Use a folding ruler to measure the height of each tree. Measure from the base of the soil to the tip of the saplings leading stem. Measure from the soil surface, not from the mulch surface. Insert ruler into mulch if necessary. The leader is the tallest live, vegetative stem. Measure to the base of the leaders apical bud. Do not include bud scales or, for conifers, new needles. If there are multiple stems, pick the tallest living stem. Make sure that the ruler follows the contours of the stem, especially for curved stems. Report height in centimeters to the nearest 0.5 cm. (All heights should end in 0.0 or 0.5)


Use calipers to measure the diameter of the sapling at 5.0 cm from the soil surface. Before measuring and repeatedly throughout the day, check the caliper to make sure that it reads 0.0 cm when closed. If the tree has already been measured, find the orange or pink paint pen mark indicating where it was measured previously. Use calipers to record the measurement at that point. If the tree has not been measured previously or a paint pen mark is not apparent, measure 5.0 cm from the soil surface (see Height) using a ruler and mark the tree with a ring there. Measure from that point. If the stem forks before 5 cm or is otherwise not amenable to measurement at 5 cm, mark and measure at a different height and note this on the data sheet. If the stem forks and both resultant stems seem vigorous, measure below the fork. Report Diameter in centimeters to the nearest 0.5 mm. If height of saplings have reached breast height (137cm), measure diameter at 137cm. (All diameters should end in 0.0 or 0.5)


To mark Y, observe if the sapling is producing any reproductive structures (e.g. flowers, cones, seeds). Leave blank if none present.