Perennial field margins with combined agronomical and ecological benefits forvegetable rotation schemes


Abstract: A 5 year project is underway in the UK which is looking to build upon previousresearch to combine the biodiversity and pest-control benefits of perennial field margins across ahorticultural rotation, providing growers with a direct economic benefit in addition to expectedsubsidies from stewardship schemes. Key to the success of this project is the selection offlowering plant species for inclusion in experimental field margins that will provide multiplebenefits in terms of promoting functional agro-biodiversity. For this purpose a combination ofmargin plant species have been selected that ensure supply of nectar, pollen, bird food and shelterand alternative prey for natural enemies. This paper focuses on the plant selection process used toformulate a suitable margin seed mix. An outline of the project as a whole, including longer-termaims and objectives, is also provided.

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