FOULUM (Biobase)

Long term biomass experimental facility


Open-air Platform

Parent institution: Aarhus University, Department of Agroecology
Active since 2012
Active through 2012-now

Fields of study

  • Climatology, Climate Change
  • Environmental sciences, Pollution
  • Other
  • Agricultural science

Contact Information

Jorgensen, Uffe

FOULUM Agro Ecosystems contains a range of permanent, long-term experiments in arable and bioenergy crop ecosystems, which provides a basis for a detailed analysis of time- and gradient-dependent changes in ecosystem functioning. This can result from different cropping system management practices, i.e. conventional vs. organic and conventional vs. new innovative management practices, including intensity of tillage in combination with residue management and cover cropping, and maximizing primary production through double cropping systems and crops with long growing seasons. This comprises three long-term replicated field experiments representing major current and future agricultural systems in Denmark. Upgrades include equipment for climate manipulation (warming and precipitation changes) and mobile instruments for automatic and continuous measurements of biogeo-chemical cycling (net primary productivity, greenhouse gas fluxes, hydrological flows and nutrient losses).

The Location

Country: Denmark

Latitude: 56.49680556

Longitude: 9.575577778

Nearest town: Viborg

Distance from neaerst town: 15 km

Relevant Research Questions

The experiment aims at exploring possibilities for utilizing the whole growing season more efficiently and improving ecosystem services from agriculture. Grain crops utilize only part of the growing season for photosynthetic solar radiation capture, and perennial grass and optimised crop rotations utilising more than one crop per year have a longer phosynthetic active growing period.


The experiment is designed to evaluate long-term effects on productivity, carbon and nitrogen balances etc. of innovative cropping systems suited for delivering high amounts of sustainable feedstock for biorefineries that can extract both feed, food, fuel and fibers. Existing long-term experiments do not have such a focus on sustainable intensification and are thus not suited for estimating the prospects of new agricultural systems for developing the European bioeconomy in a changing climate. The experiment is quite new but the first data are very interesting and will be published within the coming year.


The small plot size of some treatments gives restrictions of space available for additional destructive treatments and measurements, while selected treatments have larger plots with available area for destructive measurements.

Experimental Capabilities

Experimental Facilities

At the site there are also semifield and growth chamber facilities for more controlled experimentation

Experiments duration: Years;

Experimental Aerea

Total area: 16000 m²

Available area: 16000 m²

The area available for new experimentation depends on the type of experimentation.

Experimental Unit Size

unit size: 240 m²


Replicates number: 4

Temporary storage

  • Dark room
  • Drying oven
  • Freezer
  • Liquid N
  • Freeze drier
  • Refrigerator

Available Instruments

  • TDR
  • Line quantum
  • SPAD
  • spectral reflectance measuremets
  • Suction cups for soil water sampling permanently installed
  • Static chambers for gas emission measurements
  • LI-COR soil respiration
  • Leaf area measurements
  • Respirometer

Electricity available on site.

Distance from Laboratory facilities


Years measured: 1987-2019


Mean Temperature: 8.1 °C

February Mean Temperature: 1.6 °C

July Mean Temperature: 16.1 °C


Mean Annual Speed: 3.6 m/s

Max. Annual Speed: m/s

Dominant Direction: 191


Precipitation type: Rain, Snow;

Total annual precipitation: 754 mm

Mean snow cover duration: days

Soil Types

State Variables

Continuously Measured

  • Air humidity
  • Air temperature
  • Atmospheric pressure
  • Incident PAR
  • Incident shortwave radiation
  • Soil temperature
  • Soil water content

Spot Measured

  • Phenology
  • Species richness
  • Population densities

Environmental Pressures

Variable Ecosystem Status
Warming Agrosystem Planned
Precip Agrosystem Planned
Management - Nutrients (levels or nutrient type) Agrosystem Active
Management - rotation practice Agrosystem Active
Management - species and/or ecotype combinations Agrosystem Active
Management - traditional (or native) vs. new (or non-native) species Agrosystem Active

On site Staff and Accomodation

Peak season staff

Up to 12 people

Off season staff

Up to 8 people

Visiting personnel

No visitors allowed.

No beds on site

Showers on site

Showers on site

No laundry on site