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46°00’12.40 N
19 m asl

Site description

An agricultural field of 13.3 ha was selected N-E Italy in the late fall of 2006. In this field, irrigated maize (Zea mays L.) was cultivated during the last thirty years and the soil was tilled using a winter plow to a depth of 0.35 m and a spring soil preparation (5 cm) prior to sowing. At the beginning of the experiment (December 2006) the study area was divided into two sections so to obtain an eastern area of 8.6 ha and a western area of 4.7 ha. Maize was cultivated in the East field. Instead, the West field was converted to fodder alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), with a late winter (February 2007) plowing at 0.35 m (thereafter corn-alfalfa, C-A).


The 0-30 cm soil layer has the following characteristics: total SOC = 48.4 t C ha-1, total N = 4.2 t N ha-1, soil bulk density = 1.25 g cm-3, soil field capacity = 23 %v/v, wilting point = 12 %v/v and pH = 7.1. Sand = 27%, silt = 58%, Clay = 15%. Strong C4 signal.


global or short wave incoming radiationhalf-hourly
reflected or short wave outgoing radiationhalf-hourly
long wave incoming radiationhalf-hourly
long wave outgoing radiationhalf-hourly
net radiationhalf-hourly
photosynthetic photon flux densityhalf-hourly
reflected photosynthetic photon flux densityhalf-hourly
light interceptionhalf-hourly
air temperaturehalf-hourly
canopy radiative temperaturehalf-hourly
bole temperaturehalf-hourly
soil temperature superficial (5 cm)half-hourly
soil temperature medium (15 cm)half-hourly
soil temperature deep (20 cm)half-hourly
soil water content superficial (0-20 cm)half-hourly
soil heat fluxhalf-hourly
relative humidityhalf-hourly
Wind directionhalf-hourly
Wind horizontal speedhalf-hourly
CO2 concentrationhalf-hourly
H2O concentrationhalf-hourly
Ecosystem NEEhalf-hourly
Sensible heathalf-hourly
Latent heathalf-hourly
Friction velocityhalf-hourly
Total soil respirationtwo-hours
Heterotrophic respirationtwo-hours
Growth analysis (total biomass, above below ground biomass, LAI)periodically
Soil carbon contentperiodically
N2O and CH4 soil fluxperiodically

Treatments within the CARBO-Extreme project

land use change from continuous maize to alfalfa ; reduced tillage

An eddy-covariance flux tower was installed in August 2006 in each field (tilled maize and alfalfa) to assess mass, momentum and energy ecosystem exchanges. For each crop (maize and alfalfa, till and no till), three replicates (10x10 m) were established to study C dynamics, crop growth, biomass partitioning and soil respiration. Continuous soil respiration measurements were performed every two hours using three automated soil respiration systems. A detailed description of the system is reported in Delle Vedove et al. (2007).

Plotsize (m2)Soil respiration: 10x10 m; 3 replicates for each treatment; Eddy: >4 ha
Period the data are available for2006-2007-2008-2009

Related projects

  • NitroEurope
  • CarboItaly


Beano 1


Alessandro Peressotti

Giorgio Alberti

Ilaria Inglima

web page of the experimental site

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