Collembola abundances and assemblage structures in conventionally tilled and conservation tillage arable systems

  • Published source details Brennan A., Fortune T. & Bolger T. (2006) Collembola abundances and assemblage structures in conventionally tilled and conservation tillage arable systems. Pedobiologia, 50, 135-145.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Reduce tillage

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Reduce tillage

    A replicated, controlled trial at the Oakpark Research Centre, County Carlow, Ireland (Brennan et al. 2006), found that winter wheat plots subjected to a reduced tillage regime for three years had more springtails (Collembola) in the soil than conventionally ploughed plots. Conventional plots had around 100 springtails/m2 and ‘ECOtilled’ plots had over 300 springtails/m2 on average. Sixteen 24 x 30 m plots were established in 2000 and sown with winter wheat every year. ‘ECOtillage’ plots were cultivated with a shallow cultivator 5-10 cm deep after harvesting. Weeds were sprayed with herbicide, and the crop was sown with a cultivator drill. Control plots were ploughed with a mouldboard plough to a depth of 25 cm and cultivated with a power harrow (10-15 cm) before sowing. At harvest, straw was either baled and removed or chopped and replaced on the soil surface. There were four replicates of each treatment combination, and 12 m buffer strips around each plot. Springtails were extracted from soil samples in 2003.


Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust