Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The effects on beneficial arthropods of the exclusion of herbicides from cereal crop edges in Hampshire, England

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 intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands) Farmland Conservation

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.