Research Station Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART, CH-8046 Zurich

Endangered arable flora: how to conserve and promote it?

The arable flora is one of the most endangered plant groups in Switzerland. To conserve and promote the arable flora conservation headlands were introduced as ecological compensation areas. To evaluate their effect on the arable flora 28 conservation headlands were studied. There were more plant species and more red-list plant species in the conservation headlands than in the adjacent crops. However, only 12 red-list plant species were found. Therefore, conservation headlands should generally be sown with arable species to effectively promote these plants. A survey of farmers with conservation headlands revealed that the farmers wish better consulting, the authorisation of more crops and to site conservation headlands also in whole fields. That conservation headlands are profitable in terms of finances could be shown in comparisons with cereal crops. Additionally to conventional conservation headlands strips separated from the crop and sown exclusively with arable species were tested. All but one of the sown plant species were found in these strips, but a few species didn’t establish very well. Therefore, more investigations are being planned.

To the archive