• Agroecology;
  • genetically modified crops;
  • glufosinate ammonium


The use of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) crops influences the abundance of weeds and some invertebrate groups because the associated herbicide regime contrasts with that of conventional systems. However, it is not clear to what extent these effects might be cumulative; should GMHT crops be grown continuously. In northern Europe, in the near future, this situation is most likely to apply to maize crops. Here, we consider the effects of continuous GMHT maize cropping on plant and invertebrate taxa using a split-field experiment. Half of each field was managed using GMHT and the other half with a conventional variety, with the treatments retained for two seasons. The treatment effects were broadly consistent with those found in the larger sample of non-continuous maize sites within the Farm Scale Evaluations. There was little evidence of effects being significantly more pronounced in the second year; any cumulative differences in above-ground biodiversity between GMHT and conventional cropping were too variable to be readily detected.