Study

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Plant crops in spring rather than autumn

Action Link
Farmland Conservation

Reduce fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide use generally

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Plant crops in spring rather than autumn

    A replicated site comparison study in 2004 of autumn-sown and spring-sown barley on four farms in Scotland (Douglas et al. 2010) found that arthropod abundance was higher in autumn barley in early summer and in spring barley in late summer. Arthropod abundance was significantly higher in autumn barley from April to June (autumn barley: 8-21/sample; spring: 3-14), consistent with earlier crop development. The reverse was true in July and August (autumn barley: 15-23; spring: 20-26/sample). Abundances of individual arthropod orders varied slightly between the two sowing regimes. A total of five spring and five autumn barley fields were selected from four farms (two of each crop type). No insecticides were applied, but fields received one or two herbicide applications. Arthropods were sampled on five occasions in each field (April-August 2004) using a leaf vacuum (15 cm diameter). Sampling was undertaken at intervals (5 or 30 m) along 2-5 parallel transects (100 m apart) across the width of each field.

     

  2. Reduce fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide use generally

    A replicated study of autumn-sown and spring-sown barley on four farms in Scotland (Douglas et al. 2010) found that arthropod abundance was higher with fewer herbicide applications. Peak season (July) counts of total arthropod abundance in autumn and spring-sown barley were significantly higher in fields that received one herbicide application (28/sample) than fields receiving two applications (18-21/sample). This was also the case for many individual orders, particularly beetles (Coleoptera) (spring barley one application: 14/sample, two applications: 12; autumn barley one: 12, two: 4) and spiders (Araneae) (spring barley one application: 1.5, two: 0.75; autumn barley one: 2.5, two: 1.75). A total of five spring and five autumn barley fields were selected from four farms (two of each crop type). No insecticides were applied, but fields received one or two herbicide applications. Arthropods were sampled on five occasions in each field (April–August 2004) using a leaf vacuum (15 cm diameter). Sampling was undertaken at intervals (5 or 30 m) along 2-5 parallel transects (100 m apart) across the width of each field.

     

Output references

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read latest volume: Volume 17

Go to the CE Journal

Subscribe to our newsletter

Please add your details if you are interested in receiving updates from the Conservation Evidence team about new papers, synopses and opportunities.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust