The RainDrop Experiment

Friday 29th Jan 2021, 10.30am

How can we predict the future of grassland ecosystems? What’s it like to be an ecologist working in the field?

At the moment, we are unable to understand and predict how natural resources will change over time. To try and rectify this, ecologists are setting up field experiments which simulate possible future conditions, in order to see how ecosystems respond. One example is the RainDrop experiment, located at Wytham Woods in Oxfordshire. Here, scientists are using special ‘rainout’ shelters to simulate conditions of extreme drought and heavy rainfall, in order to understand how the grassland ecosystem responds. We catch up with three scientists from the University of Oxford who are working on the project – Dr Rob Salguero-Gómez, Sara Middleton and Prof Andrew Hector – to find out more.

Try the RainDrop experiment at home and let us know your results! Just tweet @oxfordsparks and @SalGoTeam. Not on Twitter? You can find us on Instagram and Facebook too, or just write in the comments below!

Visit the RainDrop web page.