The environmental effects of hedgerows on crops



Public University of Navarre
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To evaluate the environmental effects of hedgerows on crops is the aim of the project being undertaken by researchers at the Public University of Navarre, within the framework of the Agenda Local 21 of Noáin municipal council in Navarre.

A hedgerow may be defined as a line of hedges, sometimes with trees, along the roadside or surrounding estates, farms or naturally-occurring enclosures.

Various studies agree that it is a good thing to have hedges surrounding crops and alongside the road – yields are improved, the crop is protected from the wind and auxiliary flora and fauna is favoured, thus conserving biodiversity and aiding pest control. Furthermore, it helps to retain humidity, absorb contamination from the soil, reduce overexposure to sunshine and adds to the aesthetic beauty of the countryside.

However, these references are based on data obtained in other countries, such as France or Great Britain, while the objective of this work is to see if these effects are produced on crops grown in Noáin.

Hedgerows along the Elorz river

This project is to specifically study the influence of the hedgerows along the banks of the Elorz river on adjacent crops. Two groups of fields are differentiated: on the one hand, those protected, for example, from the prevailing winds or from exposure to sunlight by these riverside hedgerows and, on the other, those fields of crops with similar soil conditions, but without the hedgerow effect.

Both types of crop fields will be analysed within a series of physical-chemical parameters (soil composition, humidity, light, etc.), i.e. the most influential environmental factors on plant growth. Subsequently, productivity yields will be determined. To this end, fields will be selected and samples thereof studied in such a way that the crop yields can be subsequently measured and compared.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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