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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Management options for the establishment of communities of rare arable weeds on set-aside land

Published source details

Neve P., Mortimer A.M. & Putwain P.D. (1996) Management options for the establishment of communities of rare arable weeds on set-aside land. Aspects of Applied Biology, 44, 257-262


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

Sow rare or declining arable weeds Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled, randomized study in 1993 and 1994 of set-aside at a site in England (Neve et al. 1996) found that the establishment of common corncockle Agrostemma githago and interrupted brome Bromus interruptus depended on cover crop, cultivation, management and year. Common corncockle density was significantly higher on the two sown grass covers consisting of 95% or 67% grass (125-135 common corncockle plants/m²) than on naturally regenerated plots (120/m²) or wheat crops (105/m²). The reverse was true in year two (natural regeneration: 600/m², crop: 1100/m², grass covers: 400-500). Reproductive output was higher on wheat crop cover and natural regeneration plots (275 seed capsules/m²) than sown grass cover (210-250 seed capsules/m²). Cover crop did not affect interrupted brome establishment in year one (4-5/m²), but in year two density was higher on natural regeneration (24/m²) and wheat crop (23/m²) covers, than on grass covers (10-15/m²). Both species increased from year one to two. No cultivation in year two resulted in the only decline in density of common corncockle between year one and two (70/m²). Interrupted brome density was highest with no cultivation in the second year compared to cultivation or cultivation and re-sowing of rare arable weeds (29 vs. 10-15). An early year one cut (1st August) resulted in significantly lower densities of common corncockle (440/m²) compared to a later cut (30th August) or no cut (750/m²). A late cut increased year two interrupted brome density compared to the early cut (28 vs 17/m²), but no cut significantly decreased the density (9/m²). Re-sowing common corncockle had no effect on year two densities (860-1000/m²). The trial comprised a split plot (2 x 2 m) randomized block design with three replicate blocks each containing 36 treatment combinations. Wheat (drilled), grass crop and rare weeds (hand sown) were planted in October-November 1993 and 1994. Rare arable weeds were sampled in 1 x 1 m quadrats in the centre of each plot. Seed bearing capsules were counted on 10 individuals/plot.

Delay mowing or first grazing date on pasture or grassland Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled, randomized study of set-aside at the University of Liverpool Horticulture and Environmental Research Station, England (Neve et al. 1996) found that delaying cutting resulted in higher densities of common corncockle Agrostemma githago and interrupted brome Bromus interuptus. An early year one cut (1st August) resulted in significantly lower densities of common corncockle (440/m²) compared to a later cut (30th August) or no cut (750/m²). A late cut increased year two interrupted brome density compared to the early cut (28 vs 17/m²); no cut significantly decreased the density (9/m²). The trial comprised a split plot (2 x 2 m) randomized block design with three replicate blocks each containing 36 treatment combinations. Wheat (drilled), grass crop and rare weeds (hand sown) were planted in October-November 1993 and 1994. Plots were cut (to 10 cm, vegetation left in situ) on 1st or 30th August, or not at all. Rare arable weeds were sampled in 1 x 1 m quadrats in the centre of each plot.