SRUC Woodlands Field pH plots

This experiment has been added by the GLTEN Curators using existing published sources.
Impacts of seven different target soil pH treatments (pH4.5 through to pH 7.5) on both the production and quality an 8-course ley-arable rotation as well as influence on the soil.
Unique in having a pH gradient of seven levels across a rotation of eight crops. Rotations including 3 years grass-clover, winter wheat, potatoes, spring barley, swedes and spring oats under sown. The experiment is important as soil pH is a major driver of microbial community structure, diversity and activity such as effects on carbon accumulation ; natural product discovery as microbes acclimatise to the soil environment pH; impact of pH on yield and quality of crops in terms of crop diversification and food security. The experiment had to end in 2020 but the soils have been transferred to a new location nearby and a new experiment initiated called the Phoenix Experiment.
Data Access Statement
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Data license
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Data policy
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Christine Watson
Robin Walker
SRUC Craibstone

Site: Woodlands Field pH plots

research station field
Geographic location
57.236821, -2.247484
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Design period: (1961—2020)

Design Type
Demonstration strip design
Seven pH levels 4.5 - 7.5 across a rotation of eight crops. Set up as an eight course rotation, typical of the mixed farm systems of the area; 3 years grass clover ley, followed by winter wheat, potatoes, spring barley, swedes and then under-sown spring oats. Low levels of fertiizers throughout and some changes in varieties grown.
Design description
A gradient of pH 4.5 to 7.5 across all crops in a gradient (not random)
CropYears grown
grass clover leys
winter wheat
spring barley
spring oats
Crop Rotation
8 course rotation
  • 1
    grass clover leys
  • 2
    grass clover leys
  • 3
    grass clover leys
  • 4
    winter wheat
  • 5
  • 6
    spring barley
  • 7
  • 8
    spring oats
Factor name
Factor levels
pH exposure
ground chalk applied as necessary to maintain soil at pH 4.5, 5.0, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0 and 7.5
yield componentsNot specified
soil propertiesNot specified
soil organic matterNot specified
earthwormsNot specified
soil faunaNot specified

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