Invertebrate distributions between permanent field boundary habitats and temporary stubble set-aside

  • Published source details Moreby S.J. (2007) Invertebrate distributions between permanent field boundary habitats and temporary stubble set-aside. Aspects of Applied Biology, 81, 207-212.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland

    A replicated site comparison study of 31 rotational set-aside fields in England (Moreby, 2007) found that invertebrate numbers tended to be higher in uncultivated field boundaries than within set-aside fields. There were significantly lower numbers of the following groups within set-aside compared to at field edges: harvestmen (Opiliones; 0 vs 3/m²), leafhoppers (Auchenorryncha; 10 vs 60), true bugs (Heteroptera; 2-10 vs 25), parasitic wasps (14 vs 20), beetles (Coleoptera; 7 vs 22), flies (Dipteral; 38-42 vs 63), ‘chick food items’ (20-30 vs 85) and ‘highly ranked predators’ (1 vs 5).  Aphids were more numerous in set-aside than at the field boundary (100-112 vs 10/m²).  There was no significant difference in numbers of spiders (Araneae), lacewing (Neuroptera) larvae, butterfly and moth (Lepidoptera) larvae, sawfly (Tenthreadinidae) larvae and aphid  predators between the margin and the field.  Invertebrates were sampled in the uncultivated field boundary (0 m) and at 3 m and 50 m in to each field in mid-May. Total invertebrates (excluding springtails (Collembola) and thrips (Thysanoptera)) and those in 12 groups known to be food for farmland birds were recorded.


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