Hopland Research and Extension Center—Grassland Site (2013-2016)
While annual grasslands are not widespread ecosystem types, they can be useful model ecosystems for manipulation studies and global change research. The low vegetation stature and annual growth habit permits us to track whole-ecosystem nitrogen cycling and quantify productivity and allocation. Hopland grassland is valuable because of extensive prior research at the site, including our prior warming experiments and current precipitation manipulation and many microbial genome and function studies.
The Hopland Research and Extension Center is a UC Agriculture and Natural Resources field research facility operated by UC Davis. The center is located in Hopland, California, in the foothills of the Coast Range, 170 km N of LBNL (39.00°N, 123.07°W), and ranges in elevation from 150 to 940m. The dominant vegetation types are grassland, oak savannah, and chaparral. The center maintains a series of weather stations along an elevation gradient. The center provides various facilities and staff assistance at discounted rate for UC-associated researchers. Facilities include a bunkhouse, an all-purpose laboratory space, a greenhouse, mechanical and woodshops, and a 72-tank lysimeter. Each lysimeter comprises soil packed by horizon into a 30-gallon steel tank, roughly 40 cm in diameter and 56 cm deep, which is plumbed to collect the water draining through the tank. The lysimeters are buried within a sloped hillside, which ensures natural soil environmental conditions. There is electricity at the greenhouse and lysimeter complex.