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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The effectiveness of new agri-environment scheme options in conserving rare arable plants

Published source details

Walker K.J., Critchley C.N.R. & Sherwood A.J. (2007) The effectiveness of new agri-environment scheme options in conserving rare arable plants. Aspects of Applied Biology, 81, 301-308


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

Leave cultivated, uncropped margins or plots (includes 'lapwing plots') Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled, randomized site comparison study of field margins at 39 sites in England (Walker et al. 2007a) (same study as (Walker et al. 2007b)) found that uncropped cultivated margins significantly increased rare arable plants. Uncropped cultivated margins had significantly higher numbers of rare arable plants (1.4/sample zone) than conservation headlands (0.1), no-fertilizer conservation headlands (0.7), spring fallow (0.6) and the crop (0.1). A total of 145 records of 34 rare arable plants were found on the 195 field margins, including four UK Biodiversity Action Plan species. Three species occurred on 7-10% of sites, a further 19 occurred on 1-5% and the remainder were found on just one margin. In total 25 rare arable plants were recorded on uncropped margins, 18 on no-fertilizer conservation headlands and 16 on spring fallow. There were no significant differences in rare arable plant diversity at 1, 3 or 5 m from the field edge within margin types. There were significant regional differences in diversity. One of each margin type and an adjacent control was randomly selected in thirty-nine 20 x 20 km squares in England. Rare arable plants were sampled in 10 quadrats (0.5 x 0.5 m) at three distances (1, 3 and 5 m) from the field edge within a 100 x 6 m sample zone in June-July 2005.

 

Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands) Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled, randomized site comparison study in 2005 of field margins at 39 sites in England (Walker et al. 2007a), (same study as (Walker et al. 2007b)), found no significant difference in the number of rare arable plants in conservation headlands and the crop. No-fertilizer conservation headlands had higher numbers of rare arable plants (0.7/sample zone) than conservation headlands (reduced insecticides/pesticides) or the crop (0.1), but the difference was not significant. In total 18 species were found on no-fertilizer conservation headlands. There were no significant differences in diversity at 1, 3 or 5 m from the field edge within margins, although it tended to decline. There were significant regional differences in diversity. One of each margin type and an adjacent control was randomly selected in thirty-nine 20 x 20 km squares in England. Rare arable plants were sampled in 10 quadrats (0.5 x 0.5 m) at three distances (1, 3 and 5 m) from the field edge within a 100 x 6 m sample zone in June-July 2005.