From 01 to 02 October 2020, a virtual workshop on long-term experiments (LTE) entitled "LTE research - methods, standardization and modelling" took place as part of the ongoing BonaRes research. The workshop was organized and carried out by the Justus Liebig University Gießen in cooperation with the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) Halle. A total of 47 participants from Germany and abroad took part in this workshop and exchanged results and experiences from ongoing long-term experiments. It was particularly gratifying that Rothamsted Research Harpenden (UK), one of the most renowned research institutions in the field of LTE research, took part in the workshop with seven scientists and three lectures.
In the first session, an overview of the status of LTE research in Germany, Denmark and Great Britain was given and information was provided about the establishment of a Global Long-Term Agricultural Network (GLTEN). The requirements of LTE for modelling were also explained. The second session focused on the effects of the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere on soil and plant parameters as well as on the soil microbiome. In addition, the effects of soil management on the soil microbiota and plant health were reported. A very important aspect in the planning and evaluation of LTE is the consideration of suitable statistical methods. Important information for improving the statistical evaluation of LTE was given in two presentations in the third session. On the second day of the workshop, in a fourth session, the effects of mineral and organic fertilization on the yield stability of crops and on soil properties, including the CO2 efflux of the soil, were presented.
In the final session of the workshop, individual questions about the methodology and implementation of LTE were discussed with specialists from Great Britain, Hungary and Germany. This discussion was very fruitful and made clear that the exchange of experience and methodological coordination between the LTE operators are very important. Various aspects were discussed that are important when performing LTE. These include, among others, choice of cultivar, criteria for changes in crop species, experimental design, remote sensing, plant and soil parameters including soil microbiota and storage and archiving of samples. It is planned to summarize the statements and conclusions of this session in a manuscript and to publish them in the BonaRes series.
Bernd Honermeier & Beate Stumpf
(Justus Liebig University Gießen)
photo: University Giessen