Install physical supports for planted non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

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

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of installing physical supports for emergent, non-woody plants planted in freshwater wetlands. The study was in the Netherlands.






  • Biomass/plant (1 study): One replicated, controlled study at the edge of a freshwater lake in the Netherlands found that supporting planted bulrushes Scirpus with wire mesh had no significant effect on biomass of individual plants after 1–2 years.
  • Stems/plant (1 study): The same study found that supporting planted bulrushes Scirpus with wire mesh had no significant effect on number of shoots/plant after 1–2 years.

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, paired, controlled study in 1989 at the edge of a freshwater lake in the Netherlands (Clevering & van Gulik 1997) found that using wire mesh to support planted bulrushes Scirpus spp. had no significant effect on the number or biomass of bulrush shoots after two months. Bulrush plants in plots with and without support had a similar number of shoots in 12 of 12 comparisons (supported: 2–36 shoots/plant; unsupported: 2–26 shoots/plant) and had similar above-ground biomass in 12 of 12 comparisons (supported: 4–73 g/plant; unsupported: 2–51 g/plant). Methods: In May 1989, bulrushes were transplanted into 96 plots, each 4 m2, at the edge of a tidal freshwater lake. In 48 plots, plants were supported with strips of wire mesh (12 cm holes). There were four supported and four unsupported plots for each combination of two species (lakeshore bulrush Scirpus lacustris ssp. lacustris and saltmarsh bulrush Scirpus maritimus), two water levels (5 or 30 cm average depth) and three planting densities (2–20 plants/m2). All plots were fenced to exclude waterfowl. Bulrush shoots were counted and measured in July 1989. Above-ground dry biomass was estimated from length-mass relationships.

    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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