Kellogg Biological Station LTER

KBS scientist Melissa Kjelvik and Delton-Kellogg High School teacher Connie High participate in the “BEST” (BioEnergy Sustainability) Schoolyard Research Network. Photo: Tom Getty

Key Research Findings:

KBS LTER scientists found that soil microbial diversity is not much affected by land management, except for those groups of microbes involved in specific metabolic processes such as the production and consumption of the important greenhouse gases methane and nitrous oxide. This introduces an interesting potential for managing soil microbial diversity to provide specific ecosystem services such as greenhouse gas mitigation in agriculture.
No-till farming can help to mitigate climate change
Agricultural researchers traditionally focus their studies at the field level. By casting a wider net, KBS scientists have discovered how plant diversity in surrounding landscapes enhances habitat for predators of agricultural pests. Those predators can reduce pesticide use and avert yield loss worth millions of dollars annually.


The Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) is located in southwest Michigan in the eastern portion of the U.S. cornbelt, 50 km east of Lake Michigan in the SW corner of the state (42° 24' N, 85° 24' W, elevation 288 m). Annual rainfall at KBS averages 890 mm y-1 with about half falling as snow; potential evapotranspiration (PET) exceeds precipitation for about 4 months of the year. Mean annual temperature is 9.7° C.

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Land use around KBS ranges from urban (Kalamazoo, with a metropolitan population of 160,000 is 20 km south of the Station) to rural; vegetation ranges from cultivated and early successional old fields to older growth oak-hickory and beech-maple forests; and aquatic habitats include more than 200 bodies of water of different morphometries, alkalinities, and degrees of eutrophication within 50 km.
Cropping systems in the area are typical of the U.S. cornbelt -- mainly corn/soybean
rotations with wheat of varying importance, and alfalfa an important forage crop. KBS yields are typical of yields elsewhere in the North Central Region.

Research Topics:

Ecological interactions underlying the productivity and environmental impact of production-level cropping systems; patterns, causes, and consequences of microbial, plant, and insect diversity in agricultural landscapes; gene transfer, community dynamics

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