Bird nesting in Iowa no-tillage and tilled cropland

  • Published source details Basore N.S., Best L.B. & Wooley J.B. (1986) Bird nesting in Iowa no-tillage and tilled cropland. Journal of Wildlife Management, 1, 19-28.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Reduce tillage

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Reduce tillage

    A replicated, controlled study from May-July in 1982-1984 in nine experimental sites and three control sites in cropland in Iowa, USA (Basore et al. 1986), found that farmland bird species richness and nesting density and success were higher in fields without tillage. In total, 12 species were found nesting in the non-tillage fields with an average density of 36 nests/100 ha whereas only three species with an average of 4 nests/100 ha nested in tilled fields. Nest success was greatest in fields with corn residue (48% nestling survival rate). Three no-tillage treatments (corn planted in corn residue: 125 ha); corn planted in sod residue: 117 ha); and soybeans planted in corn residue: 113) and one control treatment (corn planted in tilled fields: 129 ha) were surveyed each year. Discovered nests were monitored every 2-3 days.


Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust