University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
College of Biological Sciences


Experiment 120 - Biodiversity II: Effects of Plant Biodiversity on Population and Ecosystem Processes

Biodiversity II (E120) is designed to determine how the number of plant species affects the dynamics of ecological processes at the population, community, and ecosystem levels. By experimentally manipulating the number of species and the kinds of species, the amount of plant growth and the change from year to year, that result can be examined. Plots are large (9m x 9m actively maintained) and well-replicated, allowing responses of plant pathogens, insect herbivores, seed predators, soil parameters, invasive plant species and other variables to also be studied. Plots were seeded in May 1994 to have 1, 2, 4, 8, or 16 species, with roughly 30 replicates of each diversity level. The species composition of each plot was chosen by random draw from a pool of 18 grassland perennials that included four warm-season (C4) grasses, four cool-season (C3) grasses, four legumes, four non-legume forbs, and two woody species. All species occur in monoculture allowing comparison of responses of each species in monoculture to combinations of these same species. The experiment was established in 1994 by the lead investigators David Tilman, Peter Reich, Johannes Knops, and David Wedin. Experiment 120 is similar to Experiment 123, but it uses larger plots to provide a large capacity for long-term subexperiments.

Methods for e120


Dataset IDTitleRange of Years (# years with data)
acqe120Developing seedheads treated with fungicide and insecticide2005-2005 (1 year)
aghe120Fire Behavior1997-2014 (9 years)
agge120Fire Fuel Load2015-2015 (1 year)
agfe120Fire Severity2011-2014 (2 years)
agie120Fire Temperatures2000-2014 (4 years)
invre120Invasion strip root biomass2002-2002 (1 year)
invne120Invasion strip soil nitrogen2002-2002 (1 year)
acve120Local plant diversity and soybean biological control 2011 Aphid and Enemy Surveys2011-2011 (1 year)
acxe120Local plant diversity and soybean biological control 2011 Harvest Measures2011-2011 (1 year)
acwe120Local plant diversity and soybean biological control 2012 Aphid Surveys2012-2012 (1 year)
adce120Local plant diversity and soybean biological control 2012 Enemy Surveys2012-2012 (1 year)
aage120Main Plots All Arthropod Insect Sweepnet Sampling 1996-20061996-2006 (10 years)
lpe120Percent light penetration1996-2000 (5 years)
nbe120Plant aboveground biomass carbon and nitrogen1996-2006 (7 years)
ple120Plant aboveground biomass data1996-2020 (25 years)
pce120Plant species percent cover data1996-2007 (6 years)
aafe120Plant traits2008-2008 (1 year)
agje120Plot coordinates for the E120 Big Biodiversity Field1994-1994 (1 year)
rbe120Root biomass data1997-2015 (10 years)
nre120Root carbon/nitrogen data1997-2006 (6 years)
care120Soil carbon1994-2017 (8 years)
nohe120Soil nitrate and ammonium1996-2007 (7 years)
ne120Soil nitrogen1994-2017 (8 years)
aime120Soil phosphorus1994-2017 (2 years)

Compiled data is also available in these pre-formatted files.

Compiled Biomass and Soil Data
Descriptions of Data FieldsTABJMPEXCEL

Compiled Plant Cover Data
Descriptions of Data FieldsTABJMPEXCEL