Online Training Materials 14: Introduction To Arable Field .

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Online Training Materials 14:Introduction toArable Field MarginsProduced by Kevin Walker for the NPMS in July

Arable Field MarginsSince 1940s changes in farming have causeddramatic changes to our ‘arable weed’ floraAll Text, photos and drawings .1

Arable Field MarginsIncreased use of herbicides has dramaticallyreduced the abundance / diversity of weeds withinthe crop (except those that have become tolerant)NPMS 20202

Arable Field MarginsIncreased mechanisation and use of fertilisers hasincreased yields leading to a reduction in abundanceand diversity of arable weeds amongst cropsNPMS 20203

Arable Field MarginsSeed cleaning now removes seed contaminants sothat weed seeds are not re-sown with the cropNPMS 20204

Arable Field MarginsAs a result once abundant weeds are now veryrare sight .cornflower, corncockle, corn marigoldNPMS 20205

Arable Field MarginsBut many arable weeds survive in areas where cropsare managed sympatheticallyRare Arable Weed Margin(uncropped, no fertiliser orherbicide)NPMS 2020Conservation headland(cropped, no fertiliser orherbicide)6

Arable Field MarginsSpecies richness - sample zoneUncropped margins with no herbicide / fertiliser (stubbles, RAWMs)have significantly more species than cultivated margins (e.g.conservation headlands) but all better than conventional crops!35302520151050CerealCons. Head Cons. Head Overwinter Rare arable(CH1)- no fertstubbleweed(CH2)(OS3)margin(RAWM)Walker et al. 2007. Biological Conservation 136: 260-270NPMS 20207

Arable Field MarginsOr on light soils where fertility is much lowerSandy soils (East Anglia)Chalky soils (South East)Shaly soils (Cornwall)NPMS 20208

Arable Field MarginsWeed diversity is highest at field margins due to edgeeffects (presence of weeds in adjacent habitats, reducedeffectiveness of weed control towards edges of crop, etc.)NPMS 20209

Arable Field MarginsSpring sown crops are generally better thanthose sown in autumn as less intensivelymanaged in winter/spring (therefore also betterfor birds and other wildlife!)NPMS 202010

Arable Field MarginsFor NPMS we just record the indicators present in the first metreof crop from crop edge (ignoring sown or uncultivated margins)NPMS 202011

Arable Field MarginsNPMS 202012

Arable Field MarginsNPMS Arable Field Margin IndicatorsNPMS 202013

Arable Field MarginsAethusa cynapiumFool’s ParsleyIndicator: positiveHabitats: cereal crops and wastegroundSoils: dry, often slightly to stronglycalcareousDistribution: England, Wales andsouthern ScotlandKey ID character: hanging downbracteoles at base of each umbel(cluster of flowers)NPMS 2020 Andrew Gagg/Plantlife14

Arable Field MarginsAlopecurus myosuroidesBlack-grassIndicator: negativeHabitats: cereal crops where it canbecome highly invasiveSoils: wide range but mainly heavy soilsDistribution: southern half of GB butspreading due to herbicide resistanceKey ID character: Flowering spikenarrow (timothy-like) and taperingtowards the tip Andrew Gagg/PlantlifeNPMS 202015

Arable Field MarginsAnagallis arvensisScarlet Pimpernel Andrew Gagg/PlantlifeIndicator: positiveHabitats: cereal crops, waste ground,dry grassland, sand dunesSoils: dry sandy or calcareousDistribution: throughout GBextending to InvernessKey ID character: sprawling withorangey-red flowers (occasionallyblue) Andrew Gagg/PlantlifeNPMS 202016

Arable Field MarginsAnthemis cotulaStinking ChamomileIndicator: positiveHabitats: cereal cropsSoils: wide range but mainly heavy soils;largely replaced by A. arvensis on lightersoilsDistribution: southern half of GB;scattered elsewhereKey ID character: strong smelldistinguishes it from Scented Mayweed(Tripleurospermum inodorum). Toldfrom Matricaria recutita by hairy leavesand solid receptacle and from A.arvensis by foetid smell and shape ofscales between individual flowers.NPMS 202017

Arable Field MarginsCapsella bursa-pastorisShepherd’s-purseIndicator: positiveHabitats: arable, waste ground,gardensSoils: wide rangeDistribution: throughout GB; verycommonKey ID character: triangular, heartshaped fruits Andrew Gagg/PlantlifeNPMS 202018

Arable Field Margins Andrew Gagg/PlantlifeCerastium glomeratumSticky Mouse-earIndicator: positiveHabitats: arable, waste ground,gardensSoils: wide rangeDistribution: throughout GBKey ID character: told from CommonMouse-ear C. fontanum by flowersbeing held in tight clusters andpresence of glandular hairs on thestemNPMS 202019

Arable Field MarginsChaenorhinum minusSmall ToadflaxIndicator: positiveHabitats: arable, waste ground,ballast of railway lines, disturbedcalcareous grasslandSoils: dry, calcareousDistribution: throughout GB north toInvernessKey ID character: solitary pale blue,toadflax flowers; leaves very narrow,sticky and downyNPMS 202020

Arable Field MarginsChenopodium albumFat-henIndicator: positiveHabitats: arable and root crops, wastegroundSoils: wide rangeDistribution: throughout GB; verycommonKey ID character: very variable inappearance; leaves grey-green,diamond shaped; flowers in ball-likeclusters on long flowering stem (notethere are many very similar-lookingspecies that are generally recorded asFat-hen)NPMS 2020 Andrew Gagg/Plantlife21

Arable Field MarginsCirsium arvenseCreeping Thistle Beth Newman/PlantlifeIndicator: negativeHabitats: ubiquitous, in almost everyhabitat!Soils: wide rangeDistribution: throughout GB;extremely commonKey ID character: far-creeping withsmall, pale-pink flowers in openclusters. Tall, unwinged and spinelessstem; leaves very spiny!NPMS 202022

Arable Field MarginsEuphorbia exiguaDwarf SpurgeIndicator: positiveHabitats: arable, disturbed calcareousgrasslandSoils: dry, calcareousDistribution: southern half of GB;scattered elsewhereKey ID character: tiny, with verynarrow, untoothed leaves. The tinyflowers are exceeded by long, narrowbracts.NPMS 202023

Arable Field MarginsEuphorbia helioscopiaSun SpurgeIndicator: positive Andrew Gagg/PlantlifeHabitats: arable and root crops, wastegroundSoils: wide rangeDistribution: throughout GB; commonKey ID character: upper bracts whichcup the flowers are joined in pairs;leaves dark green, downy and narrow Andrew Gagg/PlantlifeNPMS 202024

Arable Field MarginsFumaria sp. FumitoryIndicator: positiveHabitats: arable, waste ground,disturbed grasslandSoils: wide range, generally dryDistribution: there are 8 nativespecies of fumitory in GB (see nextslide)Key ID character: sprawling herbswith tubular two-lipped flowers thatare either white, pale-pink or purple.The flowers have transparent, paperlike bracts, the shape of which isimportant for identifying the speciesNPMS 202025

Arable Field MarginsFumaria sp.continuedThere are 8 native species offumitory in GB; the two mostlikely to be encountered onarable field margins are F.officinalis and F. muralis. Inwestern Britain F. bastardii andF. capreolata are common insome areas whereas F.purpurea and F. occidentalis arerare. Three species are more orless confined to chalky soilswhere they are locallyabundant – F. densiflora is thethe most widespread. F.parviflora and F. vaillantii aremore local.NPMS loradensiflora26

Arable Field MarginsGalium aparineCleaversIndicator: negativeHabitats: ubiquitous in cultivated anddisturbed habitatsSoils: wide range, generally dryKey ID character: leaves in whorls of6-8. Stems four-angled. The edges ofboth covered in backward-pointingbristles that stick to clothingNPMS 2020 Luke Morton/PlantlifeDistribution: common throughout theUK27

Arable Field MarginsGlebionis(Chrysanthemum)segetum Corn MarigoldIndicator: positiveHabitats: cereal and root cropsSoils: light sandy or loamy soilsDistribution: formerly widespreadthroughout the UK but has declineddramatically since the 1940s – nowvery scattered but locally abundantKey ID character: the solitaryflowerheads are large and goldenyellowNPMS 202028

Arable Field MarginsKickxia elatineSharp-leaved FluellenIndicator: positiveHabitats: arable landSoils: light soils, often chalky, oftengrowing with K. spuriaDistribution: widespread but local insouthern England and WalesKey ID character: leaves triangular inoutline with arrow-shaped bases;flowers stalks hairlessNPMS 202029

Arable Field MarginsKickxia spuriaRound-leaved FluellenIndicator: positiveHabitats: arable landSoils: light soils, often chalky, oftengrowing with K. elatineDistribution: widespread but local insouthern England and WalesKey ID character: leaves oval; flowerstalks woollyNPMS 202030

Arable Field MarginsLamium amplexicauleHenbit Dead-nettleIndicator: positiveHabitats: arable land, waste groundSoils: light dry soilsDistribution: widespread but localthroughout the UKKey ID character: whorls of pinkpurple 2-lipped flowers with leaf-likebracts joined around the stemNPMS 202031

Arable Field MarginsMatricaria (recutita)chamomillaScented MayweedIndicator: positiveHabitats: arable land, waste groundSoils: light, dry soilsDistribution: widespread throughoutthe UK, locally abundant in someareasKey ID character: aromatic withhollow receptacles; the ray floretsoften pointing downwards. Told fromAnthemis by hollow receptacles andhairless leaves. Scentless MayweedTripleurospermum inodorum has nosmellNPMS 202032

Arable Field MarginsMedicago lupulinaBlack MedickIndicator: positiveHabitats: arable land, grasslandSoils: dry, neutral or calcareousDistribution: widespread throughoutthe UKKey ID character: told from LesserTrefoil Trifolium dubium and HopTrefoil T. campestre by the small point(mucro) at the tip of each leafsegment Andrew Gagg/PlantlifeNPMS 202033

Arable Field Margins Andrew Gagg/PlantlifePersicaria lapathifoliaPale PersicariaIndicator: positiveHabitats: arable land, disturbed soil,waste ground, lake marginsSoils: wide rangeDistribution: widespread throughoutthe UKKey ID character: told from RedshankPersicaria maculosa by the presenceof glandular hairs on the flower stalk Andrew Gagg/PlantlifeNPMS 202034

Arable Field Margins Beth Newman/PlantlifeReseda luteaWild MignonetteIndicator: positiveHabitats: arable land, disturbedgrassland, tracksidesSoils: light, calcareousDistribution: widespread in England,Wales and southern ScotlandKey ID character: unlike Weld Resedaluteola the leaves are divided intonarrow lobesNPMS 202035

Arable Field MarginsSherardia arvensisWild MadderIndicator: positiveHabitats: arable land, disturbedgrassland, tracksidesSoils: light, calcareousDistribution: widespread throughoutthe UK but very local in northernEngland and ScotlandKey ID character: Small scramblingherb with tiny pale-pink flowers andwhorls of 4-6 leaves with prickly edgesNPMS 202036

Silene latifoliaWhite CampionIndicator: positiveHabitats: arable land, waste places,hedgebanksSoils: deep well-drained Andrew Gagg/PlantlifeArable Field MarginsDistribution: widespread throughoutthe UK but often localKey ID character: Large white flowers25-30 mm across with softly hairystems and leaves Andrew Gagg/PlantlifeNPMS 202037

Arable Field MarginsSonchus arvensisPerennial SowthistleIndicator: positiveHabitats: arable land, waste places,hedgebanks, grassland, coastalhabitatsSoils: fertileDistribution: widespread throughoutthe UKKey ID character: Very tall plant withlarge yellow flowers; the shiny leavesare lobed with few spines along theedges and rounded clasping basesNPMS 202038

Arable Field MarginsSonchus oleraceusSmooth SowthistleIndicator: positiveHabitats: ubiquitous weed ofdisturbed groundSoils: wide rangeDistribution: widespread throughoutthe UKKey ID character: very similar to SpinySowthistle S. asper; differs in havingdull green leaves with pointed bases –S. asper has shiny leaves that aremore prickly and with rounded bases PlantlifeNPMS 202039

Arable Field MarginsStellaria mediaCommon chickweedIndicator: negativeHabitats: ubiquitous weed ofdisturbed habitatsSoils: fertileDistribution: very commonthroughout the UKKey ID character: petals and sepals ofequal length and petals divided tobase Andrew Gagg/PlantlifeNPMS 202040

Arable Field MarginsTripleurospermuminodorumScentless MayweedIndicator: positiveHabitats: arable land, waste places,tracksSoils: fertileDistribution: widespread throughoutthe UKKey ID character: differs fromChamomiles Anthemis and ScentedMayweed Matricaria chamomilla inbeing scentless Andrew Gagg/PlantlifeNPMS 202041

Arable Field MarginsUrtica dioicaCommon NettleIndicator: negativeHabitats: ubiquitous in all habitatsSoils: wide rangeDistribution: very commonthroughout the UKKey ID character: Annual Nettle(Urtica urens) is much smaller withmore compact flower spikes and amore powerful sting. Andrew Gagg/PlantlifeNPMS 202042

Arable Field Margins Andrew Gagg/PlantlifeVicia hirsutaHairy TareIndicator: positiveHabitats: rough and disturbed groundincluding hedgebanks, arable land,coastal habitats, road and railwaybanksDistribution: widespread throughoutthe UKKey ID character: Smooth Tare (V.tetrasperma) and Slender Tare (V.parviflora) have hairless pods andcalyx lobes unequal in length.NPMS 2020 Andrew Gagg/PlantlifeSoils: dry, neutral to calcareous43

Andrew Gagg/PlantlifeArable Field MarginsViola arvensisField PansyIndicator: positiveHabitats: arable land, waste groundSoils: light, well drainedDistribution: widespread throughoutthe UKKey ID character: Flowers usuallyyellow or cream (rarely with blue).Wild Pansy V. tricolor has largerflowers usually with some blue orviolet (rarely all yellow). Andrew Gagg/PlantlifeNPMS 202044

Online Training Materials 14: Introduction to Arable Field Margins Email: Produced by Kevin Walker for the NPMS in July 2020

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