Study

Pesticide use on cereals and the survival of grey partridge chicks: a field experiment

  • Published source details Rands M.R.W. (1985) Pesticide use on cereals and the survival of grey partridge chicks: a field experiment. Journal of Applied Ecology, 22, 49-54.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands)

Action Link
Farmland Conservation

Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands)

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

    A replicated, controlled study in 1980-1983 in arable fields on a farm in Hampshire, UK (Rands 1985) found that grey partridge Perdix perdix broods were significantly larger in 1983 on plots with conservation headlands, compared to control headlands sprayed with fungicides and herbicides (averages of 5.1-10.3 chicks/brood for 29 broods in unsprayed areas vs 1.8-2.4 chicks/brood for 39 broods on controls). No differences were found in 1980-1981, before conservation headlands were implemented. However, more broods were found on conventional fields, reflecting more pairs (49 vs 37) in the spring. Areas with conservation headlands had significantly higher abundances of true bugs (Heteroptera), leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae) and weevils (Curculionidae) than sprayed headlands (1.9 individuals/50 net sweeps vs 1.4 individuals/50 sweeps for true bugs, 1.0 individuals/50 sweeps vs 0.7 individuals/50 sweeps for leaf beetles and weevils). Sawflies (Hymenoptera) and butterfly/moth (Lepidoptera) larvae abundance did not vary significantly. The author argues that larger broods were the result of higher chick survival, due to more food insects being present. This study was part of the same experimental set-up as (Rands et al. 1984, Rands 1986, Rands & Sotherton 1986, Dover et al. 1990, Sotherton 1991, Dover 1997).

     

  2. Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands)

    A replicated, controlled study in 1980-3 in arable fields on a farm in Hampshire, England (Rands 1985) (the same site as in Rands et al. 1984), found that grey partridge Perdix perdix broods were significantly larger in 1983 on plots with conservation headlands, compared to controls, with headlands sprayed with fungicides and herbicides (averages of 5.1-10.3 chicks/brood for 29 broods in unsprayed areas vs. 1.8-2.4 chicks/brood for 39 broods on controls). No differences were found in 1980-1, before conservation headlands were implemented. However, more broods were found on conventional fields, reflecting more pairs (49 vs. 37) in the spring. The author argues that larger broods were the result of higher chick survival, with conservation headland plots contain significantly more food insects than controls.

     

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