Leave unharvested crop headlands within arable fields

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    not assessed
  • Certainty
    not assessed
  • Harms
    not assessed

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of leaving unharvested crop headlands within arable fields. This study was in France.

COMMUNITY RESPONSE (1 STUDY)

  • Richness/diversity (1 study): One replicated, paired, site comparison study in France found that unharvested alfalfa headlands had a greater species richness of butterflies than harvested alfalfa or wheat fields.

POPULATION RESPONSE (1 STUDY)

  • Abundance (1 study): One replicated, paired, site comparison study in France found that unharvested alfalfa headlands had a higher abundance of butterflies than harvested alfalfa or wheat fields.

BEHAVIOUR (0 STUDIES)

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated, paired, site comparison study in 2009–2010 on 24 farms in Champagne-Ardennes and Haute-Normandie, France (Manil & Chagué 2014) found that unharvested alfalfa Medicago sativa headlands had a higher abundance and species richness of butterflies than harvested alfalfa or wheat Triticum spp. fields. In unharvested strips of alfalfa, the abundance (53 individuals/transect) and species richness (4 species/transect) of butterflies was higher than in harvested alfalfa (abundance: 12–15 individuals/transect; richness: 2–3 species/transect) or in conventional wheat fields (abundance: 3–6 individuals/transect; richness: 1–2 species/transect). See paper for individual species results. On each of 24 farms, one alfalfa field was harvested conventionally 4–5 times/year, one alfalfa field had a rotational 7-m strip left unmown during each harvest, and one winter wheat field was managed conventionally. From May–September 2009–2010, butterflies were surveyed visually five times/year on two 200–400-m transects in each field (15–17 farms surveyed/year).

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Bladon A.J., Smith R.K. & Sutherland W.J. (2022) Butterfly and Moth Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for butterflies and moths. Conservation Evidence Series Synopsis. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

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Butterfly and Moth Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Butterfly and Moth Conservation
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Butterfly and Moth Conservation - Published 2022

Butterfly and Moth Synopsis

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