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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Abundance of invertebrate herbivores, carnivores and parasitoides tended to be higher in areas with reduced pesticide applications in Cambridgeshire, UK

Published source details

Vickerman G. (1992) The effects of different pesticide regimes on the invertebrate fauna of winter wheat. Pages 82-109 in: G. Greig-Smith, G. Frampton & T. Hardy (eds.) Pesticides, cereal farming and the environment: the Boxworth project. HMSO MAFF, London.


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

Reduce fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide use generally Farmland Conservation

A controlled study as part of the Boxworth project comparing arable farmland with high and reduced pesticide inputs over five years in Cambridgeshire, UK (Vickerman 1992) (same study as (Fletcher et al. 1992)) found that the abundance of invertebrate herbivores, carnivores and parasitoids tended to be higher in areas with reduced pesticide applications, whereas detritus-feeding invertebrates did not differ with treatment. On average, total numbers of herbivores were 50% lower, predators 53% (39-70%) lower and parasitoids 39-79% lower in the conventional area compared to the reduced pesticide areas. Numbers varied with year, and numbers of some taxa were higher in conventional areas in some years. Numbers of detritus-feeders did not differ significantly between treatments. There were two treatment areas, one with conventional and the other reduced pesticide applications (selective insecticides and slug/snail pesticides). Invertebrate density was sampled in the middle of each field using a Dietrick vacuum sampler at intervals of 7-10 days between mid-April and harvest. Each sample comprised five sub-samples (each 0.09 m²) taken 10 m apart.