Study

Seed bank density and weed density were higher with reduced herbicide applications and weed density tended to be higher in plots with increased spring cropping in England

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, controlled study of arable fields at three sites within the TALISMAN MAFF-funded experiment in England (Jones et al. 1997) found that weed density tended to be higher in plots with increased spring cropping compared to those with winter dominated cropping. Seed bank density depended on site. At Boxworth, seed bank density was higher on increased spring cropping rotations (8,780-25,824/m²) compared to winter dominated cropping (2,172-2,209/m²). In contrast, at High Mowthorpe, seed densities were higher with winter cropping (11,300-16,231/m² vs 1,764-3,181/m²). Total plant density tended to be higher in plots with increased spring cropping than with winter dominated cropping (4-18 vs 3-9/m²). There were differences between species, and at High Mowthorpe, some had significantly higher populations on plots with winter cropping. At Boxworth there were two replicates in two blocks, at the other two sites, there was one replicate in three blocks. Seed banks were sampled at Boxworth and High Mowthorpe after harvest from three sub-samples (60 combined soil cores) in each plot. Weed density was sampled in 15 quadrats/plot at the three sites after harvest (August-September) and in October-November.

  2. Reduce fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide use generally

    A replicated, controlled study of arable fields at three sites within the TALISMAN MAFF-funded experiment in England (Jones et al. 1997) found that seed bank density and weed density were higher with reduced (50%) herbicide applications. At High Mowthorpe, plots with reduced (50%) herbicide had significantly higher seed densities (3,181-16,231/m²) than those with conventional applications (1,764-11,300/m²). At Boxworth, the same was true for spring-cropped plots (25,824 vs 8,780/m²). At Boxworth, broadleaved plant seed weights were significantly higher with reduced compared to conventional herbicides (35-151 vs 24-91 mg/m²), treatments did not differ at High Mowthorpe. Plant density tended to be higher on plots with reduced herbicides (4-18/m²) compared to conventional herbicide applications (3-16/m²). At Boxworth, only broadleaved plant species/groups differed between treatments, whereas at Drayton higher weed numbers were consistently found on reduced herbicide plots. At Boxworth there were two replicates in two blocks, at the other two sites, there was one replicate in three blocks. Conventional fertilizer, fungicide and insecticide levels were applied. Seed banks were sampled at Boxworth and High Mowthorpe after harvest from three sub-samples (60 combined soil cores) in each plot. Weed density was sampled in 15 quadrats/plot at the three sites after harvest (August-September) and in October-November.

     

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