such as "Introduction", "Conclusion"..etc
Ecologists are getting ready to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the
world's oldest ecological experiment. The Park Grass Experiment was set
up at Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire in 1856 -- three years before
Darwin published Origin of Species -- to answer crucial agricultural
questions of the day but has since proved an invaluable resource for
studying natural selection and biodiversity.
To mark the occasion, a major review of Park Grass is published today
in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Ecology, and on
22nd-24th May 2006 Rothamsted Research is hosting an international
symposium exploring the unique value of long-term ecological research.
Park Grass was originally designed to test the effect of fertilisers
and manures on hay yields. However, it soon became apparent that the
treatments were also affecting the botanical make-up of the plots and
the ecology of this 2.8 ha field has been studied ever since. In spring,
the field is a colourful tapestry of flowers and grasses, some plots
still having the wide range of plants that most meadows probably
contained hundreds of years ago.
According to the authors of the paper, Professor Jonathan Silvertown
of The Open University and colleagues from Rothamsted Research, the
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and Lincoln University in New Zealand:
"Park Grass illustrates how long-term experiments grow in value with
time and how they may be used to investigate scientific questions that
were inconceivable at their inception. This is as likely to be true of
the future of Park Grass as it has proved to be of its past." Over its
150 year history, Park Grass has:
"Today, Park Grass has acquired new relevance for the study of
fundamental ecological processes and for nature conservation. It has
inspired new ecological theory and has helped ecologists to recognise
the value of long-term experiments in ecological studies," the authors
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