Study

Large-scale field trials with conservation headlands in Sweden

  • Published source details Chiverton P.A. (1994) Large-scale field trials with conservation headlands in Sweden. British Crop Protection Council Monographs, 58, 185-190

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands)

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands)

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands)

    A replicated, controlled study of cereal fields on ten pairs of farms in central and southern Sweden (Chiverton 1994) found that grey partridge brood size, chick survival and abundance of invertebrates tended to be higher on farms with unsprayed headlands (6 m wide) compared to those sprayed conventionally.  Mean brood size tended to be higher on experimental farms (half headlands unsprayed; 7-9) than on control farms (sprayed; 3-8).  Numbers of broods (10-19 vs. 4-16), chick survival rate (26-54% vs 11-47%) and numbers of partridge pairs in the spring (20-30 vs. 15-24) also tended to be higher on experimental farms.  However, none of these differences was statistically significant.  Mean density of chick food insect groups (Heteroptera, Homoptera, Curculionidae, Chrysomelidae, larvae of Lepidoptera and Tenthredinidae) was significantly higher on unsprayed (25-74) compared to sprayed headlands of wheat (5-32).  Farm pairs (control and experimental) were within 5 km of each other and of similar size, cropping and agricultural practice.  On the experimental farm, the headlands left unsprayed (50%) were swapped each year (1991-1993).  Partridge counts were undertaken in spring and after harvest using dogs to flush birds.  Ten invertebrate samples (0.5 m²) were taken from each headland during the first week in July using vacuum-suction.

     

  2. Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands)

    A replicated, controlled study in 1991-1993 of cereal fields on 10 pairs of farms in central and southern Sweden (Chiverton 1994 ) found that grey partridge Perdix perdix brood size, chick survival and abundance of invertebrates tended to be higher on farms with unsprayed headlands (6 m-wide) compared to those sprayed conventionally. Mean brood size tended to be higher on experimental farms (half headlands unsprayed: 7-9 chicks) than on control farms (sprayed: 3-8). Numbers of broods (10-19 vs 4-16), chick survival rate (26-54% vs 11-47%) and numbers of partridge pairs in the spring (20-30 vs 15-24) also tended to be higher on experimental farms. However, none of these differences were statistically significant. Mean density of chick food insect groups (true bugs (Heteroptera), aphids/leafhoppers/planthoppers (Homoptera), weevils (Curculionidae), leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae), larvae of butterflies/moths (Lepidoptera) and sawflies (Tenthredinidae)) was significantly higher on unsprayed (25-74) compared to sprayed headlands of wheat (5-32). Farm pairs (control and experimental) were within 5 km of each other and of similar size, cropping and agricultural practice. On the experimental farm, the headlands left unsprayed (50%) were swapped each year (1991-1993). Partridge counts were undertaken in spring and after harvest using dogs to flush birds. Ten invertebrate samples (0.5 m²) were taken from each headland during the first week in July using vacuum-suction.

     

Output references

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