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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Small mammal use of field borders planted as beneficial insect habitat

Published source details

Moorman C.E., Plush C.J., Orr D.B., Reberg‐Horton C. & Gardner B. (2013) Small mammal use of field borders planted as beneficial insect habitat. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 37, 209-215


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Create uncultivated margins around intensive arable or pasture fields Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2009 of arable field margins at a site in North Carolina, USA (Moorman et al. 2013) found that uncultivated and unmown field margins supported more small mammals than did frequently mown margins. There were more hispid cotton rats Sigmodon hispidus in margins planted with native grasses and flowers (average 8.8 animals/margin) or flowers only (7.5) and unmanaged fallow margins (3.3) than in unplanted mown margins (0). There were also more house mice Mus musculus in grass and flower margins (average 9.5 animals/margin), flower only margins (10.1) and unplanted fallow margins (8.8) than in unplanted mown margins (1.8). Three organic crop fields were each planted with soybeans, corn or hay crop and orchard grass. Four sections of margin (0.08 ha) within each of the three fields were assigned to the four treatments, of: planting native warm-season grasses and native prairie flowers, planting native prairie flowers only, leaving fallow without mowing and mowing 2–3 times/month. Small mammals were live-trapped for three consecutive weeks in October and November 2009.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)