Calhoun Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Plots and Reference Areas

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The Calhoun LTSE has 16 permanent plots installed on the site of two former cotton fields planted to loblolly pine (P. taeda) in the winter of 1956-1957. From 1962 to present, the soil has been sampled to a depth of 60 cm approximately every 5 years. In 2007, 8 of the 16 plots were logged to initiate a new phase in the long-term experiment. Plot studies in the Calhoun CZO also include reference hardwoods, secondary pine, hay, and cultivated crops. Source: D. Richter, 2001.

180 - 190 m   Elev

16 °C   Temp

1250 mm   Precip

Parent Field Area:
Calhoun CZO Research Area 1 ▲

View through one of the 16 permanent plots at the Calhoun LTSE showing the loblolly pine overstory and hardwood understory.  June 2004.  Photo: Jason Jackson.

Lithology

unconsolidated materials, igneous-felsic intrusive, meta-igneous

Soil Order

Ultisol

Land Use

agricultural land, forest land

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Setting & Research
Overview Maps
Dynamic Map
Data
  • Setting & Research

    The Calhoun Experimental Forest is located in Sumter National Forest near Union, SC.  Annual precipitation averages 1272 mm and mean annual temperature averages 15.7 C.  The site is characterized by gentle slopes (<3%) composed of Cataula series soil (fine, kaolinitic, thermic oxyaquic Kanhapludults).

    The Calhoun LTSE in the Southern Carolina Piedmont, USA, was initiated in 1957 on old cotton fields by US Forest Service scientists. Vegetation and soil in the 16 0.1-ha plots have been resampled with nearly all samples archived on eight occasions (1962, 1968, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1990, 1997, 2005, 2010). The Calhoun study demonstrates like few others the dynamics of belowground ecological and geochemical processes and properties over a fifty year time scale. Results from the 16 permanent plots are supplemented by land-use history plots, also called reference areas with hardwoods, secondary pine, hay, and cultivated crops. The study also demonstrates how contemporary ecosystem dynamics are strongly controlled by historic land use impacts (the legacies of cotton cultivation between 1800 and 1955) and multi-millennial evolution of the natural ecosystem. In May 2007, half of the 16 permanent plots were clear-cut and are being regenerated with pine, all to better examine human impacts on decadal changes in soils and ecosystems. The Calhoun Experimental Forest has become a globally-significant experiment not only of management effects, but of natural recovery processes as well. Calhoun researchers invite collaborations with other scientists, land managers and users, teachers, writers, and students.

    Three generations of Calhoun LTSE researchers, L-R: Carol Wells, Dan Richter, and Dan Markewitz.  Calhoun soils have been sampled about every 5 years since 1962.  The soils are archived at Duke University.

    Experimental layout of sixteen 0.1 hectare field plots at the Calhoun LTSE originally based on testing the effects of tree spacing vs yield.  The plots have been resampled on 10 occasions since 1957, when the old cotton fields were planted with loblolly pine seedlings.

    Three generations of Calhoun LTSE researchers, L-R: Carol Wells, Dan Richter, and Dan Markewitz.  Calhoun soils have been sampled about every 5 years since 1962.  The soils are archived at Duke University.

    Experimental layout of sixteen 0.1 hectare field plots at the Calhoun LTSE originally based on testing the effects of tree spacing vs yield.  The plots have been resampled on 10 occasions since 1957, when the old cotton fields were planted with loblolly pine seedlings.

  • Overview Maps

    The Calhoun Long-term Soil Ecosytem Experiment

    Map showing location of the Calhoun LTSE permanent plots. Vegetation and soil in the 16 0.1-ha plots have been re-sampled on eight occasions (1962, 1968, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1990, 1997, 2005, 2010). Soil samples are archived at Duke University, Durham, NC.

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  • Dynamic Map

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  • Data

    Calhoun 70m deep well - Soil Geochemistry (2010)
    1 components    Calhoun Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Plots and Reference Areas    Soil Science / Pedology, Geochemistry / Mineralogy    Bacon, Allan R; Richter, Daniel deB, Bierman, Paul R.; Rood, Dylan H.

    Calhoun CZO - LiDAR - LiDAR Leaf-Off Survey (2016)
    1 components    Calhoun CZO Research Area 1, Calhoun CZO Research Area 4, Calhoun Eco-hydrology Experiments, Calhoun Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Plots and Reference Areas    GIS / Remote Sensing    National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping

    Calhoun CZO - LiDAR - LiDAR features for the Calhoun CZO forest plots (2015)
    1 components    Calhoun Eco-hydrology Experiments, Calhoun Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Plots and Reference Areas    GIS / Remote Sensing    Majasalmi, Titta

    Calhoun CZO - LiDAR - Hyperspectral and LiDAR Survey (2014)
    1 components    Calhoun CZO Research Area 1, Calhoun CZO Research Area 4, Calhoun Eco-hydrology Experiments, Calhoun Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Plots and Reference Areas    GIS / Remote Sensing    National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping

    Calhoun CZO - Soil Geochemistry - Soil organic matter transformations (2015)
    1 components    Calhoun Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Plots and Reference Areas    Biogeochemistry, Biology / Ecology, Soil Science / Pedology    Min, K.; Flournoy, R.; Heroneme, C.; Barger, K.; Lehmeier, C.A.; Heine, P.; Richter, D.deB.; Billings, S.A.

    Calhoun CZO - Soil Geochemistry - Mössbauer spectroscopy (2015)
    1 components    Calhoun Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Plots and Reference Areas    Biogeochemistry, Soil Science / Pedology    Aaron Thompson, Dan Richter, Jared Wilmoth, Diego Barcellos

    Calhoun CZO - Vegetation - Tree Survey (2014-2017)
    1 components    Calhoun Eco-hydrology Experiments, Calhoun Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Plots and Reference Areas    Biology / Ecology    Cook, C. W.; Brecheisen, Z.; Richter, D. deB

    Calhoun CZO - Soil Mineralogy (2014-2015)
    1 components    Calhoun Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Plots and Reference Areas    Soil Science / Pedology    Austin, Jason C.

    Calhoun CZO Research Area 1 - Flux Tower - Young Pine Forest (2016)
    3 components    Calhoun Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Plots and Reference Areas, Calhoun CZO Research Area 1    Climatology / Meteorology    Yao Tang, Jingfeng Wang

    Calhoun Experimental Forest, SC - GIS/Map Data - 1933 aerial imagery composite (1933)
    2 components    Calhoun Eco-hydrology Experiments, Calhoun Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Plots and Reference Areas    GIS / Remote Sensing    Brecheisen, Z.; Cook, C.W.

    Calhoun Long Term Soil Experiment - Soil Gas (1992-1996)
    1 components    Calhoun Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Plots and Reference Areas    Soil Science / Pedology, Biogeochemistry    Markewitz, Daniel; Richter, Daniel deB

    Calhoun Long-Term Soil Experiment - Soil Geochemistry - 70-m deep borehole (2010)
    1 components    Calhoun Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Plots and Reference Areas    Biogeochemistry, Geochemistry / Mineralogy, Soil Science / Pedology    Bacon, A.R. and D.deB. Richter

    Calhoun Long-Term Soil Experiment - Soil Moisture (1991-1995)
    1 components    Calhoun Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Plots and Reference Areas    Soil Science / Pedology, Hydrology    Markewitz, D.; Richter, Daniel deB.

    Calhoun Long-Term Soil Experiment - Soil Survey - Hydraulic Conductivity (2011)
    1 components    Calhoun Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Plots and Reference Areas    Soil Science / Pedology, Hydrology    Brewington, M. Lance; Richter, Daniel deB.

    Calhoun Long-Term Soil Experiment - Soil Water Chemistry (1991-1994)
    1 components    Calhoun Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Plots and Reference Areas    Soil Science / Pedology, Water Chemistry    Markewitz, Daniel; Richter, Daniel deB.

    Union County, SC - Land Use History - Agriculture Census ()
    1 components    Calhoun Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Plots and Reference Areas    Outreach / Education Research    Giesen, James C.

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Topography
  • Topography

    180 - 190 m elevation (185 m mean)