Effects of the farming system on arthropod fauna in canola fields

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    Effects of the farming system on arthropod fauna in canola fields.The farming system in southern NSW is based around large scale winter cropping areas where cereals are the major crop grown in rotation with canola and pastures for livestock. The aim of this study was to determine how some cropping practices such as use of chemicals and stubble burning affects the abundance and diversity of arthropod fauna in canola paddocks. At present pest control in cropping is based around chemical treatment and the practice of burning stubble is commonly used to enable efficient sowing of crops. There is community pressure to reduce the use of both these practices, so these trials may be useful to quantify the effects they have on many arthropod species and if they affect biodiversity. Field trials were conducted to examine the effect of broad spectrum insecticides and stubble burning on arthropods commonly found in canola paddocks. The trial paddocks have over 100 years of cropping history with the current rotations being wheat, barley, canola and lucerne pasture. Chemicals were applied at sowing as a bare earth spray (Chlorpyrifos) and as a seed dressing (Imidochloprid) and compared to an untreated control. Results showed that arthropod numbers were not significantly affected by either chemical. In conducting the chemical trial the cereal stubble was burnt prior to planting canola and it was noticed that this may have had a detrimental effect on arthropods.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationMaster of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Charles Sturt University
    • Stevens, Mark, Principal Supervisor
    • Nicholas, Adrian, Co-Supervisor, External person
    • Kent, John, Co-Supervisor
    Award date01 Aug 2009
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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