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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Sow seeds and plant individual plants Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

Key messages

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  • One replicated, controlled study in the USA found that planting California sagebrush and sowing of seeds did not increase cover of native plant species compared to sowing of seeds, or planting alone.

Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated, randomized, controlled study in a degraded sagebrush scrubland habitat in California, USA (1) found that planting California sagebrush Artemisia californica plants followed by sowing of seeds did not increase cover of native plant species compared to only sowing of seeds, or only planting. Native plant species cover in areas where California sagebrush was planted and seeds were sown (7–14%) was not higher than areas where either seeds were sown (2–9%) or California sagebrush plants were planted (2%). California sagebrush plants were planted in six randomly located 1 m2 plots which were then sown with seeds, while six plots were only sown with seeds of shrubland plants, and another six plots were only planted with California sagebrush plants. Plant cover was recorded 1 m2 plots, every year between May and July. Year of the study is not provided.


DeSimone, S.A. (2011) Balancing Active and Passive Restoration in a Nonchemical, Research-Based Approach to Coastal Sage Scrub Restoration in Southern California. Ecological Restoration, 29, 45-51.

Referenced papers

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.