Environmental & Resource Management Agent
Rutgers Cooperative Extension
CAPTION: Test beds of native switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) at Georgian Court University (Lakewood, NJ).
This photo shows a field site for a study looking at the effect a native plant species (Panicum virgatum) has on soil compaction. The objective of this study is to determine whether increasing the number of native plants in a small area can reduce soil compaction. By increasing the number of plants in a small area, it is predicted that the number of plant roots will be high enough to break through the compacted soil. In partnership with Georgian Court University, three test beds were planted with four different densities of switchgrass at zero (bare soil), 9, 25, and 49 plants per square meter and monitored for soil compaction and soil water content prior to planting and on a monthly basis from May to September in 2015 and 2016.
The photo was published in the article titled, "Evaluation of Native Plant Density in Reducing Soil Compaction" in the Green Knight Newsletter, August 2016 edition (Vol. 7(3)) available at http://salem.njaes.rutgers.edu/greenknight/documents/green_knight_2016_08.pdf.
Circulation of the quarterly Green Knight Newsletter is estimated to have approximately 1,107 electronic downloads per issue per year and is distributed as an email sent to 470 clientele, Rutgers faculty, and Rutgers staff. This photo was taken by and the caption written by Dr. Yergeau.