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Individual study: Effects of set-aside on the wild species vegetation of marginal fields

Published source details

Elsen T.V. & Gunther H. (1992) Effects of set-aside on the wild species vegetation of marginal fields. Zeitschrift fur Pflanzenkrankheiten und Pflanzenschutz, 13, 49-60

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Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland Farmland Conservation

A replicated site comparison study in 1990-1991 on 1-year-old and permanent set-aside fields in a small-scale arable region in Germany (van Elsen & Gunther 1992) found higher weed cover on permanent set-asides (89.3 – 94.1%) than on 1-year-old set-asides (74.2 - 78.5%). The number of weed species was somewhat higher along the edge of 1-year-old (average 35.1 species) than of permanent set-asides (30.7 spp.), but no such difference was found in the field centre (28.2 spp. vs 27.8 spp.). Effects of set-aside age were strongly trait and species-dependent. For example, declining, rare and threatened weed species were more common in 1-year-old (122 to 154 recordings) than on permanent set-asides (91 to 110 recordings). Most of the investigated permanent and 1-year-old set-aside fields were left uncultivated, but occasional fields were sown. In each field, two 2 m x 50 m long transects (one along the field edge and one 10 m away towards the field centre) were surveyed repeatedly. Cover estimates for each plant species and total vegetation cover were recorded. No statistical analyses were performed on the data.