Influence of herbivory, competition and soil fertility on the abundance of Cirsium arvense in acid grassland

  • Published source details Edwards G.R, Bourdôt G.W. & Crawley M.J. (2000) Influence of herbivory, competition and soil fertility on the abundance of Cirsium arvense in acid grassland. Journal of Applied Ecology, 37, 321-334.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Grow plants that compete with damaging weeds

Action Link
Natural Pest Control
  1. Grow plants that compete with damaging weeds

    A replicated, controlled study in grassland in 1996-1997 in Berkshire, UK (Edwards et al. 2000) found that percentage ground cover of the weed creeping thistle Cirsium arvense was reduced by 70-90% by sowing wildflower seeds on ungrazed, ploughed grassland. Sowing wildflower seeds had no effect on creeping thistle cover on undisturbed grassland, or on ploughed grassland that was grazed by rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus.The results were part of a larger experiment that used five replicated blocks of forty-eight 2 x 2 m plots. Factors in the experiment were grazing (rabbits excluded or not), insecticide (applied or not), slug and snail control (applied or not), wild flower seeds (sown or not) and three disturbance treatments: control, ploughing and rotavating to 25 cm depth and ploughing and rotavating followed by fumigation with methyl bromide for seven days. Wildflower plots were sown with 60 species of wild flower at 1000 seeds/species/m². Rabbits were excluded with 1 m high, 3 cm mesh fencing. Quoted numbers were extracted from figures in the paper.


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