LegacyNet is an international network of experimental sites, set up to investigate the benefits of multi‑species grassland leys, as well as their legacy effects on follow-on crops in a rotation. The benefits of multi-species mixtures for yield, forage quality, weed suppression are well known. However, now we wish to investigate how to best design grassland leys within crop rotations to maximize the function of the ley as a grassland, and to maximize the carry-over effect of the grassland (supply of symbiotically fixed nitrogen, soil health and fertility). This is approach is a “model system” that will allow us to extrapolate the generated knowledge about diversity‑ecosystem functioning to any other productive area, including forestry and forage production.

The network comprises experimental stations at a transcontinental level, including America, Europe, Africa and Asia, and ensures the generation of comparable data between the different regions. The Laboratory of Functional Ecology and Global Change (ECOFUN) runs the only experimental site in the Iberian Peninsula, which is located at the Escola Agrària del Solsonès.

The field has been recently sown (November 2020) and preliminary results are expected by summer next year (2021).

Experimental station at the Escola Agrària del Solsonès