Action

Sow seeds of nurse plants

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    not assessed
  • Certainty
    not assessed
  • Harms
    not assessed

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study examined the effects of sowing seeds of nurse plants on grassland vegetation. The study was in France.

VEGETATION COMMUNITY (1 STUDY)

  • Community composition (1 study): One replicated, controlled study in France found that sowing seeds of nurse plants reduced the similarity of the plant community to that of nearby intact steppe compared to areas where no seeds were sown.
  • Overall richness/diversity (1 study): One replicated, controlled study in France found that sowing seeds of nurse plants did not change plant species richness and richness was lower than in nearby intact steppe.

VEGETATION ABUNDANCE (1 STUDY)

  • Overall abundance (1 study): One replicated, controlled study in France found that sowing seeds of nurse plants did not change vegetation cover compared to areas where no seeds were sown.

VEGETATION STRUCTURE (0 STUDIES)

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 2009–2012 in a former orchard in the south of France (Jaunatre et al. 2014) found that sowing seeds of nurse plants did not alter plant species richness or vegetation cover and reduced the similarity of the plant community to that of intact steppe. Plant species richness did not differ significantly between areas where seeds of nurse plants were sown (10 species/plot) and areas where no seeds were sown (16 species/plot), but both were lower than species richness in an intact steppe site (33 species/plot). The similarity of the plant community to that of the intact steppe site was lower in areas where seeds of nurse plants were sown than in areas where they were not sown (presented as Bray-Curtis similarity). Vegetation cover was not significantly different in areas where the seeds of nurse plants were sown (66%) and areas where they were not (67%). In 2009, all trees were removed from the former orchard and soils were levelled. Sheep were introduced in 2010. Seeds of nurse plants were sown in two 30-ha areas, while no seeds were sown in a 270-ha area. In May 2012, cover of each plant species was recorded in each area in eighteen 2 x 2 m quadrats.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Martin, P.A., Ockendon, N., Berthinussen, A, Smith, R.K. and Sutherland W.J. (2021) Grassland Conservation: Global evidence for the effects of selected interventions. Conservation Evidence Series Synopses. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Grassland Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Grassland Conservation
Grassland Conservation

Grassland Conservation - Published 2021

Grassland Synopsis

What Works 2021 cover

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