Resource use of crops and weeds on extensively managed field margins

  • Published source details Losch R., Thomas D., Kaib U, & Peters F. (1994) Resource use of crops and weeds on extensively managed field margins. Field margins: integrating agriculture and conservation, Coventry, UK, 18-20 April 1994, 203-208.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands)

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands)

    A replicated site comparison study of cereal fields in the Lower Rhine area of Germany (Lösch et al. 1994) found that plant species diversity was higher in fields with unsprayed margins than sprayed margins. Plant diversity (Shannon index) was higher in fields with unsprayed margins (-2.1 to -2.4 vs-1). The average number of species was also higher in unsprayed margins compared to sprayed centres of fields in winter (4-10 species vs 0-2) and summer crops (3-7 species vs 1-3). By the end of the study, there were 100 species recorded within the study site (mean 44 species/field), including nine categorized as highly endangered by the red data book, which had recovered in the local area. Fields were either managed according to the regulations of the government field margins programme (5 m margins, no pesticides, limited fertilizer) or were managed conventionally with intensive pesticide and fertilizer use. Plant species diversity and floristic richness were sampled along transects within cereal fields.


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