Add manure to soil

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    30%
  • Certainty
    10%
  • Harms
    0%

Source countries

Key messages

  • One replicated, randomized, controlled study in South Africa found that adding manure to the soil increased plant cover and the number of plant species.

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, randomized, controlled study between 2007 and 2011 in a karoo shrubland in Richtersveld, South Africa (Hanke et al. 2015) found that adding manure to increase colonisation increased plant cover and the number of plant species. After three years, plant cover of areas where manure was added (7%) was higher than that in areas where manure was not added (4%). Similarly, the number of plant species in areas where manure was added (11 species) was higher than in areas where manure was not added (7 species). Five 1 ha blocks were divided using a fence to exclude cattle. In each block goat and sheep manure was spread in one 10 m x 10 m plot while another plot was left without manure addition. Vegetation in each 10 m x 10 m plot was assessed annually between 2008 and 2011.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Martin P.A., Rocha R., Smith R.K. & Sutherland W.J. (2019) Shrubland and Heathland Conservation. Pages 493-538 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

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Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Shrubland and Heathland Conservation
Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

Shrubland and Heathland Conservation - Published 2017

Shrubland and Heathland synopsis

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What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

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