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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects on the flora of extensified use of field margins

Published source details

Fischer A. & Milberg P. (1997) Effects on the flora of extensified use of field margins. Swedish Journal of Agricultural Research, 27, 105-111


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

Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands) Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 1992-1994 of cereal headlands in Sweden (Fischer & Milberg 1997) found that numbers of plant species, including species of conservation interest, were higher in margins without herbicide and pesticide applications at one of two sites. On Öland, there were significantly more species in field margins with no herbicides (6 species) and with no herbicides or fertilizers and reduced sowing rates (5.0) than in conventional plots (3.0). The same pattern was seen for cover per species (no herbicides: 8%, no herbicides/pesticides: 6%, conventional: 4%). Numbers did not differ significantly in Uppland (species: 5, 4 and 3, cover: 4%, 5% and 4% in the different treatment plots respectively). On Öland, frequencies of rare species increased, particularly in plots with no herbicides (1992: 8-10 rare species, 1994: 45-50) compared to conventional plots (1992: 2, 1994: 28). Red list species established in all Öland plots over the study (1992: 0, 1994: 9-12), with higher cover in plots with no herbicides (1994: 3-6% vs 1%). No rare or Red list species occurred at Uppland. On Öland, four fields with two to four treatment blocks and in Uppland, two fields with two blocks were established with treatment plots of 6 x 20 m within margins. Plant species were recorded in each plot on two or three visits each year.