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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of conservation tillage on skylarks Alauda arvensis nesting in winter wheat in Rutland, England

Published source details

Field R.H., Kirby W.B. & Bradbury R.B. (2007) Conservation tillage encourages early breeding by skylarks Alauda arvensis. Bird Study, 54, 137-141


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Reduce tillage Bird Conservation

A small replicated, randomised, controlled study from April-July 2005 in two experimental and two control fields of winter wheat in Rutland, England (Field et al. 2007), found that Eurasian skylark Alauda arvensis nest density was higher in fields managed through conservation tillage than control fields that were ploughed, with 24 of 32 nests found in conservation tillage fields. Average laying date was also significantly earlier on conservation tillage fields by 25 days. The authors suggest the effect was due to conservation tillage fields containing more crop residue than control fields (32% residue compared to none). Foraging distance of provisioning adult skylarks was 50% lower on conservation tillage fields (48 m vs. 93 m). However, nest success and nestling size were similar in both field types. Control fields were sown with winter wheat after mould-board ploughing, while conservation tillage fields were direct drilled into oil-seed rape residue after light rotary harrow.

 

Reduce tillage Farmland Conservation

A small replicated, randomized, controlled study from April-July 2005 in two experimental and two control fields of winter wheat in Rutland, England (Field et al. 2007b) found that Eurasian skylark Alauda arvensis nest density was higher in fields managed through conservation tillage than fields that were ploughed (24 out of 32 nests in conservation tillage fields). Average laying date was also significantly earlier on conservation tillage fields by 25 days. The authors suggest the effect was due to conservation tillage fields containing more crop residue than ploughed fields (32% compared to 0% residue respectively). Foraging distance of adult skylarks providing food for nestlings was halved on conservation tillage fields (48 m vs 93 m). However, nest success and nestling size were similar in both field types. Control fields were sown with winter wheat after mould-board ploughing, while conservation tillage fields were direct drilled into oilseed rape residue after light rotary harrow.