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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effect of non-inversion tillage on field usage by UK farmland birds in winter: Capsule Several guilds of wintering farmland birds showed preferences for cereal fields established by non-inversion tillage, rather than ploughing

Published source details

Cunningham H.M., Bradbury R.B., Chaney K. & Wilcox A. (2005) Effect of non-inversion tillage on field usage by UK farmland birds in winter: Capsule Several guilds of wintering farmland birds showed preferences for cereal fields established by non-inversion tillage, rather than ploughing. Bird Study, 52, 173-179


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 replicated, controlled study in the winters of 2000-2003 in 63 experimental and 58 control winter wheat and barley fields in Oxfordshire, Leicestershire and Shropshire, UK (Cunningham et al. 2005), found that Eurasian skylarks Alauda arvensis, seed-eating songbirds and gamebirds occupied a significantly higher proportion of fields managed through non-inversion tillage than conventionally ploughed fields in late winter (January-March). Species richness of seed-eating songbirds was also higher on non-inversion tillage fields (five species vs. one on conservation tillage fields). No birds showed any preference for field type in early winter (October to December), and crows, pigeons and insect-eaters showed no preference across the study period. Field size ranged from 1.6 to 22.3 ha, with similar numbers of non-inversion tillage and conventionally ploughed farms censused each year.

 

Reduce tillage Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in the winters of 2000-2003 in 63 experimental and 58 control winter wheat and barley fields in Oxfordshire, Leicestershire and Shropshire, UK (Cunningham et al. 2005) found that Eurasian skylark Alauda arvensis, seed-eating songbirds and gamebirds occupied a significantly higher proportion of fields managed through non-inversion tillage than conventionally ploughed fields in late winter (January-March). Species richness of seed-eating songbirds was also higher on non-inversion tillage fields (five species vs one on conventionally ploughed fields). No birds showed any preference for field type in early winter (October to December), and crows (Corvidae), pigeons (Columbidae) and insect-eating birds showed no preference across the study period. Field size ranged from 1.6 to 22.3 ha, with similar numbers of non-inversion tillage and conventionally-ploughed farms censused each year. This study was part of the same experimental set-up as (Cunningham et al. 2002, Cunningham 2004) and is also described in an additional publication (Cunningham et al. 2003).

Additional reference:

Cunningham H.M., Chaney K., Bradbury R.B. & Wilcox A. (2003) Non-inversion tillage and farmland birds in winter. Proceedings of the British Crop Protection Council Congress - Crop Science & Technology. Farnham, UK, pp 533-536.