Soil: Restore habitat along watercourses
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 2
Background information and definitions
The effectiveness category for this action refers to its effects on soil fertility (not its effects on greenhouse gases or climate regulation).
Supporting evidence from individual studies
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
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