Soil: Restore habitat along watercourses

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

Organic matter (1 study): One replicated site comparison from the USA found less carbon in soils at restored sites, compared to natural sites.

Nutrients (1 study): One replicated site comparison from the USA found less nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in soils at restored sites, compared to natural sites.

Soil organisms (1 study): One controlled study from the USA found different nematode communities in restored and unrestored areas.

Soil erosion and aggregation (0 studies)

Greenhouse gases (0 studies)

Implementation options (1 study): One replicated site comparison from the USA found less carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous in soils at older restored sites compared to younger restored sites.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated site comparison in 2005–2006 in 46 riparian sites in the Central Valley, California, USA, found less carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in soils at restored sites, compared to natural sites. Organic matter: Less carbon was found in soils at restored sites, compared to natural sites (1.1% vs 1.8%). Nutrients: Less phosphorus (13 vs 41 ppm), potassium (181 vs 380), total nitrogen (0.09 vs 0.14%), and nitrate (5 vs 12 ppm) was found in soils at restored sites, compared to natural sites. Implementation options: Older restored sites had less total nitrogen, carbon, and phosphorous than younger restored sites (data not provided). Methods: Thirty restored sites (urban: 19; agricultural: 11; all with <30 planted elderberry plants; 2–15 years old) and 16 natural sites (within 20 km of restored sites) were compared. Restored sites were surveyed in July–early November 2005 and August–October 2006 and natural sites in April–September 2006. Restored sites were 24% of the size of natural sites. Soil samples (5–30 cm depth) were collected under three or more shrubs at each site.

    Study and other actions tested
  2. A controlled study in 2000–2008 along a stream on a farm in the Central Valley, California, USA, found different nematode communities in a restored area, compared to an unrestored area. Soil organisms: Different nematode communities were found in the restored and unrestored areas (data reported as ordination results: restoration explained 3% of the variation in nematode communities). Methods: Part of the streambank was restored: graded to create a floodplain (4 m width) and planted with native perennial grasses, sedges, forbs, shrubs, and trees. Soil samples were collected from the restored area and the unrestored area in December 2007 and March–April 2008 (0–30 cm depth).

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Shackelford, G. E., Kelsey, R., Robertson, R. J., Williams, D. R. & Dicks, L. V. (2017) Sustainable Agriculture in California and Mediterranean Climates: Evidence for the effects of selected interventions. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Mediterranean Farmland

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Mediterranean Farmland
Mediterranean Farmland

Mediterranean Farmland - Published 2017

Mediterranean Farmland synopsis

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