Navigation Links
Beetles play an important role in reducing weeds
Date:7/26/2011

Researchers funded by the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the French Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) have found that ground beetles reduce the amount of weed seeds in the soil. Weeds reduce crop yields and these findings support the need to conserve farmland biodiversity as it plays an important supporting role to herbicides in controlling weeds and improving food security.

This research confirms a long-held belief by scientists that ground beetles play a role in weed control. Dr David Bohan, Rothamsted Research, who led the research, said "seed predation by naturally occurring beetles in farmland does have a beneficial effect, reducing weed numbers in fields and potentially improving agricultural productivity."

The study, to be published in the August edition of Journal of Applied Ecology, used data from 257 conventionally managed fields throughout the UK to determine the effect that ground beetles have on the number of weed seeds in the soil of sugar beet, maize, and spring and winter oilseed rape fields.

The researchers found that grass weeds were reduced more than other weeds, which is important because many UK farms have severe grass weed problems. Some of these species are increasingly resistant to herbicides and have a major impact on productivity as they compete with the crop for resources, leading to lower yields. Policy-driven reduction in herbicide use could lead to higher numbers of weeds in fields, so alternatives to herbicides have the potential for significant impact.

Ground beetles appear to eat a significant proportion of the weed seeds that would otherwise go into the soil. With the right management, ground beetles could be used to replace some herbicide applications and significantly reduce weed populations. 'Beetle banks', which involve leaving an area of a field as a wildlife habitat, are already supported under the Environmental Stewardship schemes available to farmers.

Professor Douglas Kell, Chief Executive, BBSRC said "We have a challenge to feed 9 billion people by 2050 and to do so we must engage in research now that will underpin improvements in yield and sustainability of farming in the future. By studying whole biological systems such as farm ecosystems we can spot the various contributions made by different aspects of a system, including these beetles. This project shows that the balance of farm ecosystems can be vital to ensuring sustainability in farming in the future. It also makes the link between biodiversity and food security very clear."


'/>"/>

Contact: Nancy Mendoza
nancy.mendoza@bbsrc.ac.uk
44-179-341-3355
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Spread of fungus-farming beetles is bad news for trees
2. Jewel beetles, obtained from local people, turn out to be 4 species unknown to science
3. New endemic beetles discovered in Iberian Peninsula
4. Beetle bling: Researchers discover optical secrets of metallic beetles
5. Ginger is key ingredient in recipe for conserving stag beetles
6. Beetles stand out using Avatar tech
7. UC Riverside lecture: Climate change, bark beetles, environmental markets and sustainability
8. Inconspicuous leaf beetles reveal environments role in formation of new species
9. Controlling cucumber beetles organically
10. Beetles get by with a little help from their friends
11. Study reveals important aspects of signaling across cell membranes in plants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/25/2016)... SEATTLE , Jan. 25, 2016  Glencoe Software, ... biotech, pharma and publication industries, will provide the data ... Phenotypic Screening Centre (NPSC). ... Phenotypic analysis ... even whole organisms, allowing comparisons between states such as ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... , Jan. 22, 2016 ... the addition of the "Global Biometrics ... to their offering. --> ... the "Global Biometrics Market in Retail ... --> Research and Markets ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... , Jan. 20, 2016 A market that ... directly benefit from the explosion in genomics knowledge. Learn ... Sound Research. A range of dynamic trends are pushing ... - personalized medicine - pharmacogenomics - pathogen evolution - ... large markets - greater understanding of the role of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016  The Maryland House of Delegates and House ... University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean E. ... Maryland Medical System President and CEO Robert Chrencik ... highest honor given to the public by the leader ... Reece and Mr. Chrencik for their contributions to ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016 ASAE is introducing a hybrid membership ... (AMC) the option of joining or renewing through an ... by staff size, every employee in any size association ... reap all available member benefits.   John ... membership options will allow organizations of any size and ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016  IsoRay, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ISR), a ... medical radioisotope applications for the treatment of prostate, brain, ... its financial results for the second quarter and six ... --> --> ... fiscal 2016, which ended December 31, 2015, a 12% ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  Matchbook, Inc., ... for fast growing biotech companies, announced today the ... Procurement Strategic Advisor. Jim brings nearly 25 years ... and procurement, having spent nearly two decades in ... Chain/Logistics and Procurement at Genzyme and, most recently ...
Breaking Biology Technology: