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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Sowing in wide-spaced rows had little effect, but reduced frequency applications of herbicide tended to increase beneficial weeds and arthropods in the UK

Published source details

Jones N.E. & Smith B. (2007) Effects of selective herbicide treatment, row width and spring cultivation on weed and arthropod communities in winter wheat. Aspects of Applied Biology, 81, 39-46


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

Make selective use of spring herbicides Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled, randomized study from 2003 to 2005 of arable fields at three sites in the UK (Jones & Smith 2007) found that spring herbicides had some benefits for beneficial weeds and arthropods. Species richness and cover of beneficial weeds tended to be higher with single spring or post-emergence herbicide applications than pre-emergence or combinations of applications; figures were lowest in plots with three annual applications. Cover of undesirable weeds was higher in single spring or pre-emergence applications than combined treatments. Single applications tended to reduce arthropod abundance less than sequences of herbicides, although post-emergence and pre-emergence applications were detrimental to some taxa. There were three or five replicate plots (3 or 4 x 24 m) of each treatment per site: untreated, pre-emergence, post-emergence or spring applications or combinations of each two/all herbicide applications. Vegetation was sampled in five quadrats (0.25 m²) in each plot (June 2003-2005). Arthropods were sampled using a D-Vac suction sampler (five sub-samples of 10s/plot) in a sub-set of treatments (June).

Plant cereals in wide-spaced rows Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled, randomized study from 2003 to 2005 of arable fields at three sites in the UK (Jones & Smith 2007) found that sowing in wide-spaced rows had little effect on the abundance or species diversity of weeds or arthropods. Weed species richness was higher under wide-spaced rows (3 species) compared to conventional cultivation (2 species) at one of the three sites in one year. There were three (2003) or five (2004-2005) replicate plots (3 or 4 x 24 m) per treatment at Boxworth, Gleadthorpe and High Mowthorpe. Treatments were: conventional spacing, wide-spaced rows and wide-spaced rows with spring cultivation (hoeing) between rows. Vegetation was sampled in five quadrats (0.25 m²) per plot (June 2003-2005). Arthropods were sampled using a D-Vac suction sampler (five sub-samples of 10s/plot) in a sub-set of treatments (June).

 

Reduce fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide use generally Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled, randomized study from 2003 to 2005 of arable fields at three sites in the UK (Jones & Smith 2007) found that reduced frequency applications of herbicide resulted in higher species richness and abundance of beneficial weeds and tended to increase arthropod abundance (but not always). Plant species richness and cover of beneficial weeds tended to be highest in untreated and single spring or post-emergence application plots and lowest in those with three applications. In 2004 the inclusion of a pre-emergence herbicide reduced cover of beneficial weeds compared to other treatments. Cover of undesirable weeds was higher in single pre-emergence or spring applications than combined treatments. A post-emergence application was as effective at controlling undesirable weeds as sequences of herbicides. Untreated plots tended to support more arthropods than those with herbicides, but not always. Single applications tended to reduce arthropod abundance less than sequences of herbicides, although post-emergence and pre-emergence applications were detrimental to some taxa. There were three or five replicate plots (3 or 4 x 24 m) of each treatment per site: untreated, pre-emergence, post-emergence or March applications or combinations of two/all herbicide applications. Vegetation was sampled in five quadrats (0.25 m²) in each plot (June 2003-2005). Arthropods were sampled using a D-Vac suction sampler (five sub-samples of 10s/plot) in a sub-set of treatments (June).