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Japanese Stilt Grass study plots
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Bayles Road

The Bayles Road addition is located about 3 miles north of town off of Walnut Street, just past Cascades Park on the way toward State Road 37 North. The site is approximately 33 acres in size and historically was used for research in corn genetics by IU Biology professors Marcus Rhoades, Drew Schwartz, and others. The property is mostly agricultural land and open fields, but there are also smaller areas of forest, wetlands, and aquatic habitats. Presently it is used intensively for common garden type experiments (Clay lab, Reynolds lab, Bever lab) and several laboratory courses. The site has also been used by Butch Brodie, Ellen Ketterson, and Vicky Meretsky, a variety of graduate students, and the Indiana University Nursery. It has been used by faculty from other universities (e.g., Miami University, Rice University). Jennifer Rudgers, a former postdoc at IU who joined the faculty at Rice University, received 5 years of NSF funding for her project at Bayles Road. The open fields have an irrigation system, but there is no power or buildings (except for a very small storage shed) at the site.

Arthropods in Old-Field Plant Communities at Bayles Road:   Researchers collected 653 arthropod specimens from designated plots at the IURTP Bayles Road property in 2006. Fifteen orders of arthropods were identified. This provides a snapshot of insect and spider species that might be found in old-field communities and fescue grasslands in the lower midwestern US. It also provides data for Rudgers' and Clay's research on invasive plant-fungal mutualism. [View images of the arthropod specimens; read research paper]

Quick Facts

Driving time from campus: 10-15 min. Date Acquired by IU: March 8, 1965
Nearby Public Land: Lake Griffy preserves, both City of Bloomington and IU. Current Land Use: Vegetative experiments with grasses, sedges, and early succession trees. Ruckleshaus dedicated carbon sequestration grove and prairie.
Land Forms: Bottomlands of Griffy Creek.
Vegetation: Fence rows with trees (Black Walnut, Tulip Poplar, Black Cherry, and Boxelder). Old agricultural fields with grasses, sedges, and forbs.
Soils: Haymond, Stendal, Wakeland, and Wilbur soil series.
Access: The Bayles Road site is not available to the public.

aerial map of Bayles Road property
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Relevant Publications
  • Flory, S. and K. Clay. 2010. Non-native grass invasion suppresses forest succession. Oecologia (in press).
  • Rudgers, J. A., Fischer, S, and K. Clay. 2010. Managing plant symbiosis: Fungal endophyte genotype alters plant community composition. Journal of Applied Ecology 47: 468-477.
  • Flory, S. and K. Clay. 2010. Non-native grass invasion alters native plant composition in experimental communities. Biological Invasions 12: 1285-1294.
  • Flory, S.L. 2010. Management of Microstegium vimineum invasions and recovery of resident plant communities. Restoration Ecology. 18:103-112.
  • Civitello, D.J., S.L. Flory, and K. Clay. 2008. Exotic grass invasion reduces tick-borne disease risk. Journal of Medical Entomology 45:867-872.
  • Rudgers, J. and K. Clay. 2008. An invasive plant-fungal mutualism reduces arthropod diversity. Ecology Letters 11: 831-840.
  • Flory, S.L. and W.B. Mattingly. 2008. Response of host plants to periodical cicada oviposition damage. Oecologia 156:649-656.
  • Rudgers, J. A., Holah, J., Orr, S. P. and K. Clay. 2007. Forest succession suppressed by an introduced plant-fungal symbiosis. Ecology 88: 18-25.
  • Finkes, L. K., Rudgers, J. A., Cady, A. B., Clay, K. and J. C. Mulroy. 2006. A fungal mutualist affects the composition of spiders in an old field. Ecology Letters 9: 347-356.
  • Clay, K., Holah, J. and J. A. Rudgers. 2005. Herbivores cause a rapid increase in hereditary symbiosis and alter plant community composition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 102:12465-12470.
  • Lemons, A., Clay, K. and J. A. Rudgers. 2005. Connecting plant-microbial interactions above-and belowground: a fungal endophyte affects decomposition. Oecologia 145:595-604.
  • Orr, S. P., Rudgers, J. A. and K. Clay. 2005. Invasive plants can inhibit native tree seedlings: Testing the novel weapons hypothesis. Plant Ecology 181: 153-165.
  • Rajaniemi, T. K. and H. L. Reynolds. 2004. Root foraging for patchy resources in eight herbaceous plant species. Oecologia 141:519-525.
  • Rudgers, J. A., Koslow, J.M. and K. Clay. 2004. Endophytic fungi alter relationships between diversity and ecosystem processes. Ecology Letters 7: 42-51.

View more RTP-related publications

Japanese stilt grass
Japanese stilt grass (Microstegium vimineum)
aerial view of Bayles Road research plots
Aerial view of Bayles Road research plots (click to enlarge)
periodical cicada
Periodical cicada (2004 emergence of Brood X)

Revised: May 21, 2010

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