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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Seed bank density and weed density were higher with reduced herbicide applications and weed density tended to be higher in plots with increased spring cropping in England

Published source details

Jones N.E., Burn A.J. & Clarke J.H. (1997) The effects of herbicide input level and rotation on winter seed availability for birds. 1997 Brighton Crop Protection Conference - Weeds, Conference Proceedings, Brighton, 1-3, 1161.


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

Plant crops in spring rather than autumn Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled study of arable fields at three sites within the TALISMAN MAFF-funded experiment in England (Jones et al. 1997) found that weed density tended to be higher in plots with increased spring cropping compared to those with winter dominated cropping. Seed bank density depended on site. At Boxworth, seed bank density was higher on increased spring cropping rotations (8,780-25,824/m²) compared to winter dominated cropping (2,172-2,209/m²). In contrast, at High Mowthorpe, seed densities were higher with winter cropping (11,300-16,231/m² vs 1,764-3,181/m²). Total plant density tended to be higher in plots with increased spring cropping than with winter dominated cropping (4-18 vs 3-9/m²). There were differences between species, and at High Mowthorpe, some had significantly higher populations on plots with winter cropping. At Boxworth there were two replicates in two blocks, at the other two sites, there was one replicate in three blocks. Seed banks were sampled at Boxworth and High Mowthorpe after harvest from three sub-samples (60 combined soil cores) in each plot. Weed density was sampled in 15 quadrats/plot at the three sites after harvest (August-September) and in October-November.

Reduce fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide use generally Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled study of arable fields at three sites within the TALISMAN MAFF-funded experiment in England (Jones et al. 1997) found that seed bank density and weed density were higher with reduced (50%) herbicide applications. At High Mowthorpe, plots with reduced (50%) herbicide had significantly higher seed densities (3,181-16,231/m²) than those with conventional applications (1,764-11,300/m²). At Boxworth, the same was true for spring-cropped plots (25,824 vs 8,780/m²). At Boxworth, broadleaved plant seed weights were significantly higher with reduced compared to conventional herbicides (35-151 vs 24-91 mg/m²), treatments did not differ at High Mowthorpe. Plant density tended to be higher on plots with reduced herbicides (4-18/m²) compared to conventional herbicide applications (3-16/m²). At Boxworth, only broadleaved plant species/groups differed between treatments, whereas at Drayton higher weed numbers were consistently found on reduced herbicide plots. At Boxworth there were two replicates in two blocks, at the other two sites, there was one replicate in three blocks. Conventional fertilizer, fungicide and insecticide levels were applied. Seed banks were sampled at Boxworth and High Mowthorpe after harvest from three sub-samples (60 combined soil cores) in each plot. Weed density was sampled in 15 quadrats/plot at the three sites after harvest (August-September) and in October-November.