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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Disturbance effects on early succession of field margins along the shaded and unshaded side of a tree lane

Published source details

Cauwer B.D., Reheul D., D'Hooghe K., Nijs I. & Milbau A. (2006) Disturbance effects on early succession of field margins along the shaded and unshaded side of a tree lane. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 112, 78-86


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

Create uncultivated margins around intensive arable or pasture fields Farmland Conservation

A replicated trial from 2001 to 2004 in Belgium (Cauwer et al. 2006), found that naturally regenerated margins had similar numbers of plant species to margins sown with wildflower mix after three years. In naturally regenerating plots, the number of plant species increased (unshaded margin only) or remained similar from 8-15 species/plot in July 2002 to 12-15 species/plot in July 2004. The relative abundance of perennial plants increased and the relative abundance of annuals decreased over time on all the field margin plots, regardless of treatment. In naturally regenerated margins the proportion of legumes increased over time whilst in sown margins the proportion of legumes decreased significantly. In September 2001, 10 m lengths of two 10 x 180 m arable field margins were either left to naturally regenerate or sown with one of two wildflower/grass species mixtures containing 63 or 77 plant species. One margin was in a sunny location, the other shaded by trees. The margins were mown twice, in late June and September, each year from 2002 to 2004. Each combination of treatments was replicated three times. Plants were recorded in July and October from 2002 to 2004.

Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips Farmland Conservation

A replicated trial from 2001 to 2004 in Belgium (Cauwer et al. 2006), found that field margins sown with wildflower mix had similar numbers of plant species to naturally regenerated margins after three years. The number of plant species decreased over time in sown plots (from 22-23 species/plot in July 2002 to 13-16 species/plot in July 2004), and the proportion of legumes also decreased. The relative abundance of perennial plants increased and the relative abundance of annuals decreased over time on all the field margin plots, regardless of treatment. In September 2001, 10 m-lengths of two 10 x 180 m arable field margins were either sown with 77 commercially available wildflower/grass species (mix 1), sown with 63 native, locally sourced wildflower and grass species (mix 2) or left to naturally regenerate. One margin was in a sunny location, the other shaded by trees. The margins were mown twice each year in late June and September, from 2002 to 2004. Each combination of treatments was replicated three times. Plants were recorded in July and October from 2002 to 2004.