Introduce nurse plants to aid focal trees/shrubs: brackish/saline wetlands

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

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects, on vegetation, of introducing nurse plants to brackish/saline wetlands planted with trees/shrubs. The study was in the USA.








  • Survival (1 study): One replicated, controlled study on a mudflat in the USA found that planting black mangrove Avicennia germinans seedlings into created stands of saltwort Batis maritima did not clearly affect their survival, over seven weeks, compared to planting into bare mud.

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, controlled study in 2005 on a mudflat in Florida, USA (Milbrandt & Tinsley 2006) reported that planting saltwort Batis maritima as a nurse plant had no clear effect on survival of planted black mangrove Avicennia germinans. Statistical significance was not assessed. After seven weeks, 6% of black mangrove seedlings planted into newly created saltwort patches were alive, compared to 11% of black mangrove seedlings planted into a bare mudflat. This followed fluctuations over the previous six weeks, when mangrove survival was sometimes higher in saltwort stands than on the bare mudflat (two weeks), sometimes lower (three weeks) and sometimes equal (one week). Methods: In June 2005, saltwort seedlings were planted into a mudflat, where a former mangrove forest had died off, to create patches of saltwort. The study does not clearly report patch number, density or size. Within five days, 18 nursery-reared black mangrove seedlings were planted into the saltwort and 18 were planted into the adjacent bare mudflat. Survival was measured over seven weeks.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Taylor N.G., Grillas P., Smith R.K. & Sutherland W.J. (2021) Marsh and Swamp Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions to Conserve Marsh and Swamp Vegetation. Conservation Evidence Series Synopses. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

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Marsh and Swamp Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Marsh and Swamp Conservation
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Marsh and Swamp Conservation - Published 2021

Marsh and Swamp Synopsis

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