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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Leaving areas of cereal fields free from herbicide and fungicide application increases brood size of grey partridge Perdix perdix chicks at Manydown Farm, Hampshire, England

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


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 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).

 

Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands) Bird Conservation

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.