LIRA (Long-term experiments Infrastructure for Research in Agriculture)
LIRA is a first core network of 7 sites running long-term experiments (Ancona, Bologna, Foggia, Padova, Perugia, Pisa, and Torino) and 3 modelling sites that was established as a network, and is now operating for the IC-FAR PRIN project (2012-2015; PRIN projects are funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Research through a competitive peer-reviewed call). Each site manages one or more long-term experiments. Single LTEs were started from 1962 to 2001. All are based on a plot scale (24 to 100 m2). Experimental designs are randomized blocks, or split-plots, with 3-5 replicates. Agroecosystems are conventional (6 sites) or organic (1 site). A wide part of Italian climatic and soil variability is explored.
All LTEs aim at comparing different management options of agroecosystems, at various intensification levels, to improve our knowledge on long term effects of various conservation practices on the complex interactions among soil, plant and environment. The modelling part of the platform network has a wide experience in some crop system models (DSSAT; EPIC; DNDC; ROTHC; Century; CropSyst, Daisy, LEACHM, Sucros, SALUS, CSM). They are currently working together to evaluate climate change impacts on Italian cropping systems, in relation to uncertainties due to future climate and models. Based on specific case studies, data have been organized to allow a broad model utilization. Simulation models have been fed with current climate data and with future climate projections.
Parent institution: Università di Bologna, Padova, Perugia, Pisa, Politecnica delle Marche, Torino; CREA; Università di Firenze, Sassari and Udine