The effects of beneficial arthropods of the exclusion of herbicides from cereal crop edges

  • Published source details Chiverton P.A. & Sotherton N.W. (1991) The effects of beneficial arthropods of the exclusion of herbicides from cereal crop edges. Journal of Applied Ecology, 28, 1027-1039.


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, controlled study of the headland of a wheat field in Hampshire, UK (Chiverton & Sotherton 1991) found that plots not sprayed with herbicides had significantly higher densities of arthropods than sprayed plots. This was particularly the case for non-pest species which are important for feeding birds and predatory arthropod groups. No significant between-treatment differences were found in the total pitfall trap catch of the two most common ground beetles (Carabidae), Pterostichus melanarius and Agonum dorsale. However, a significantly greater proportion of female A. dorsale were caught in treated plots than in untreated plots. Unsprayed headland plots had greater weed species, densities, biomass and cover. Along one field boundary the headland crop was divided into eight 100 x 12 m plots, which were alternately sprayed and unsprayed with herbicides in April 1988. Five vacuum-suction samples were taken (0.5 m²) before and five times (up to 90 days) after spraying. Five pitfall traps (7 cm diameter) were placed within gaps in enclosure boundaries (6 x 10 m) within plots and were emptied twice weekly from 20 June to 29 July. Weeds were assessed in 10 quadrats/plot (0.25 m²) in June.


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