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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Minimum-tillage and organic fields possess greater diversity of nesting bird species and higher nest densities than conventionally ploughed fields

Published source details

Lokemoen J.T. & Beiser J.A. (1997) Bird Use and Nesting in Conventional, Minimum-Tillage, and Organic Cropland. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 61, 644-655


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, site comparison study from 1991-1993 in ten reduced tillage, ten organic and ten conventional agricultural fields in North Dakota, USA (Lokemoen & Beiser 1997), found that more farmland birds nested on reduced-tillage than conventional fields (1 nest/10 ha vs. 0.5 nests/10 ha). Minimum tillage fields also possessed a significantly greater diversity of nesting species (2 species/field vs. 1). In spring, bird densities in minimum tillage fallow fields were higher than those in organic fallow, minimum tillage sunflower and wheat fields and all conventional fields. There were no differences in bird abundance between treatments in other seasons but fallow fields (across treatments) exhibited the highest densities in summer (1-2 individuals/ha). There were no significant differences in nest loss or daily survival rate between treatments.