Effects of field margins on the weed composition of organic cereals


Abstract: The ever-closer connection of agricultural and landscape management raises the question of how agronomical areas and semi-natural habitats affect each other. Semi-natural habitats can provide a living space for pollinators and natural enemies of crop pests but they can also support the survival of pests and become reservoirs of weeds. Our initial hypothesis was that the botanical interaction between arable areas and woody semi natural habitats also significant, even though chances are low that woody plants appear on the fields. For our analysis we examined 20 meter-wide strips of organic cereals adjacent to woody margins to see how these margins affected weed vegetation on fields. Total weed cover and species richness were analyzed for the study. Based on both parameters we could confirm that margins did change the composition of weed vegetation of organic cereals but its degree varied from field to field.

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