|KBS Land Use and Agriculture|
The predominant land use in the four townships around KBS is row-crop agriculture, especially corn and soybeans. Approximately half of the upland area is used for agriculture, with most of the remainder in various stages of succession, as either "old fields" or forest, but also with some residential development. Wetlands and lakes cover 16% of the local landscape.
KBS maintains a crop and dairy farm with research programs focusing on agricultural production. The KBS Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) Program studies the ecology of intensive agricultural ecosystems, including annual crops such as corn, soybean, and wheat, perennial crops such as alfalfa, and biofuel crops such as switchgrass and poplars. We also study the natural, unmanaged ecosystems that occur in agricultural landscapes. See the LTER page on this site as well as the KBS LTER website for more information.
As part of our long-term research efforts we have partnered with the University of Wisconsin to investigate the sustainability of biofuels through the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC). At KBS our focus within the GLBRC is the economic and ecological sustainability of biofuels. We are researching the impacts of various biofuel cropping systems on ecosystem services—the benefits that humans receive from agricultural ecosystems. See the GLBRC page on this site and the GLBRC website for more information.
Contact KBS Director Kay Gross for more information on research opportunities in agricultural ecology.